Lakeland wrestles way to eighth-place finish
Athletics - posted on 1/31/2009
The No. 30 Lakeland wrestling team placed four individuals in the top seven en route to an eighth-place finish at the two-day, 31-team Wheaton College-Pete Willson Invitational on Friday and Saturday in Wheaton, Ill.
The Muskies finished with 71.0 team points, just 8.5 points behind seventh-place Olivet, the nation's 16th-ranked team. Division II UW-Parkside won the tournament with 145.0 points.
"Our guys wrestled their tails off this weekend and did a great job," Lakeland coach Pete Rogers said. "We would have liked to have a few things go differently, but we beat a lot of tough competition. This tournament is something we will hopefully build on for the rest of the season."
Junior Adam Sutter placed second in the 285-pound division to lead the Muskies. Sutter defeated UW-Whitewater's Jon Schmidt, the nation's No. 5 heavyweight wrestler, by a 5-0 decision in the semifinals before dropping a 6-2 decision against Dan Laurent of UW-La Crosse, the defending national champion. The Gladstone, Mich., native won each of his first three matches by pin to finish a perfect 3-0 on Friday.
"Sutter beat a really good kid from UW-Whitewater, who's beaten some of the best heavyweights in the country," Rogers said. "Sutter seemed to finally loosen up and wrestle for the first time all year."
Seniors Kory Theil (141 pounds) and Jonas Flok (157) placed sixth in their respective weight divisions.
"Kory and Jonas were both in very tight matches, but each won some big matches," Rogers said.
Senior David Copp (Oostburg) finished seventh in the 125-pound bracket. Copp suffered a tough 5-4 decision setback against Elie Naoum of John Carroll before tying up seventh place with a 6-2 win over Mount St. Joe's Ethan Miller.
"David had a good tournament even with the tough loss against the wrestler from John Carroll," Rogers said. "Even in his loss, he was taking it to his opponent in the last period but just ran out of time playing catch-up."
Rogers was also pleased with the individual efforts of Rob Frias (133) and Jake Frias (165), who were both one match away from placing in the top eight of their brackets.
The Muskies return to action this Friday for a dual with No. 9 UW-La Crosse, which finished in second with 133.0 points. Match time is set for 7 p.m. at Lakeland.
To see complete team results and individual results, click here
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