Alma, Mich. – The Alma College wrestling team hosted the Mid-States Invitational Saturday (Feb. 8) and finished second among 12 teams. The Scots placed only behind No. 4 Wabash College while they earned nine and half more team points than MIAA rival No. 15 Olivet College. Juniors Brendan Ladd (Ortonville, Mich. / Brandon) and Zachary Cooper (Chippewa Hills, Mich. / Whitehall) as well as sophomore Austin Fox (Fort Worth, Texas / Timber Creek) all took home first place honors in their respective weight classes.
- Ladd dominated his way through the 141 lb weight class pinning every one of his four opponents on the day in the first period. The junior's quickest came in the championship bout where he took down a Wabash wrestler and earned the pin at the 21 second mark.
- Cooper breezed by his first three opponents winning by technical fall once and by pin in the first periods twice including one where he earned the pin just 19 seconds after the start of the bout. It set up a first-place match between two top 10 wrestlers in the 149 lb weight class according to intermatwrestle.com. Cooper scored two points early for a take down and then made it 7-0 after a near fall. An escape pushed the lead to 8-2 as the junior looked in comfortable position. But his opponent made a comeback to cut the lead to 9-7. Though the Chippewa Hills native stood strong to win the match.
- Making his first appearance since November, Fox came out of the gates hot with a pin 23 seconds into his first match on the day. The sophomore followed it up with a decision win and then an early pin to put him into the first-place match. There he won by fall again in the opening minute for his first-place finish of the season.
- Other than the three first-place finishers, eight others placed in the invitational.
- Sophomore Chase Beecher (Clio, Mich. / Clio) and freshman Lucas Brewer (Belleville, Mich. / Huron) both took home fourth. Sophomores Austin Popp (Clinton, Mich. / Clinton and Wieczorek (Kentwood, Mich. / East Kentwood) earned fifth and sixth respectively.
- Junior Isaac Nave (Onaway, Mich. / Onaway Area), sophomores Erik Arnegard (Waterford, Mich. / Waterford Mott) and Mason Priest (Grandville, Mich. / Grandville) as well as freshman Jacob Ransom (Traverse City, Mich. / Traverse City West) all placed eighth.
- As a team, the Scots had 42 wins with 15 pins.
- Ladd earned his third first-place of the season. The junior owns a record of 24-1.
- This was Cooper's fifth first-first place in his first season as a Scot. He now leads the team in wins with 27.
Ahead for Alma is the NCAA Division III Central Regionals in Wabash, Ind. They will start on Friday, February 22.