The Lakeland wrestling team placed 16 wrestlers in the top four and eight grabbed championships in their respective weight classes as the Muskies dominated the Northern Wrestling Association Tournament Saturday afternoon in Milwaukee, Wis.
To say head coach Pete Rogers was pleased at his team's results would be an understatement.
"This was about as perfect of a day as we could have expected," Rogers said. "Everyone wrestled well and got it done. We thought we would perform well today, but I don't think anyone expected things to go this well."
Sophomore Rob Frias won his second NWA title, defeating Matthew Ostovich of MSOE 6-1 in the finals of 133 pounds.
Sophomore Jake Montie also picked up his first conference championship, beating Josh Wergerter of MSOE by a slim 4-2 margin.
Junior Isaac Roberson scored the first tournament championship of his collegiate career by defeating 2009 national qualifier Virgil Pope of MSOE 5-3 in sudden victory overtime in the finals of 149.
Senior Ben Chapman picked up his third NWA tournament championship with a strong 7-1 win against Fernando Morales of MSOE at 157. Chapman has now won championships at three different weight classes, having previously collecting titles at 149 and 174 pounds.
Senior Jake Frias took home championship honors at 165 pounds through forfeit against teammate Derek Flok.
Freshman Ryan Renon scored the lone fall on the day in championship matches for the Lakeland contingent, pinning Josh Nord of Concordia Wisconsin in the finals of 174 pounds.
Senior AJ Aronstam won the title at 197 pounds in the lone finals match between Lakeland competitors, defeating teammate Rob Forgette by a 7-1 score.
Senior Adam Sutter, ranked fifth in the latest NWCA poll at 285 pounds, was awarded the championship at HWT through forfeit against teammate Bill Wood.
"As a group effort, everyone, starters and non-starters, wrestled a great tournament," Rogers said. "It was exciting. When you can win eight of 10 weight classes with entries in just nine of the classes, it's pretty cool."
In addition, Chris Weber picked up a 12-3 win over Alex Faulkner to finish in third place at 184.
Also placing for the Muskies with fourth place finishes were Martin Alvarez (165), Brad LeClair (197), Nick Kusta (149) and Cody Gust (141).
The team's great showing has Rogers and the rest of the Lakeland program fired up for regionals in Minneapolis, Minn., next Saturday.
"Everyone feels good," Rogers said. "If this doesn't make you confident, nothing will. The guys still have big things on their minds and would like to cap off an exciting season. This is the first time all season where we've had our starting line up together, and it brought everyone to a new level."
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