Roanoke, Va. – Juniors Brendan Ladd (Ortonville, Mich. / Brandon) and Zachary Cooper (Chippewa Hills, Mich. / Whitehall) of the Alma College wrestling team each went 2-1 in day one of the NCAA Div. III Championships. They both have already claimed All-American Status with being one of the last eight wrestlers remaining in each of their weight classes after today's action.
How It Happened
- Ladd was the first of the two Scots to hit the mat today. The Junior seeded fifth out of 18 wrestlers at 141 pounds took an early 4-2 lead after a near fall. Ladd would go down in the second period after being called for stalling. He would trail, 5-4, heading to the third period.
- Right out of the gate to start the final period, Ladd earned a reversal to take back the lead, 6-5. With 19 seconds left the bout was stopped and Ladd's opponent had the opportunity to break out of the Scots grasp to get back into the match, but the Ortonville native held him to the mat and earned the victory.
- Cooper came into the day with a 32-1 record and the number two seed at 149 pounds. He earned the first points of the bout with a take down to make it 2-0. But after being called for two penalty points, score was tied 2-2 heading to the second.
- The Scot once again was the first wrestler to score in the period with a reversal to lead 4-2. But Cooper continued to be called for warnings and then later penalty points for what looked to be not properly setting as the referees explained during the bout. The second period came to an end with Cooper down, 6-4, and that is when the officials decided to call disqualification against the Alma wrestler for stalling, ending the bout.
- In the night session, Ladd started off his quarterfinal with an early 2-0 lead after a takedown. The score was 2-2 heading to the third period where the junior earned an escape to go up, 3-2. But with 30 seconds remaining in the bout, Ladd was taken down and his opponent earned a near fall to take the decision, 7-3.
- Cooper bounced back from his disqualification in the first round with a major decision win, 12-2. He followed that up in the next round with a pin just over a minute into the bout.
- Ladd finished out the night for the Scots with a 7-2 win to make the Scots two for two on making the All-American list.
- Ladd reaches the 30-win plateau for the second straight year. His 29-match winning streak came to an end tonight but he becomes an All-American for the second straight year.
- Ladd defeated a returning all-american in his final match of the night.
- Cooper's first round opponent never earned a single point during his bout that was not cause by a penalty by the Scot.
- The opponent Cooper pinned to earn All-American honors was the No. 1 seed at 149 pounds.
- In his first season at the Division III level, Cooper is an All-American.
- As a team, the Scots are in 17th place out of 74 competing schools.
What They Said
"The quarters didn't go as expected but what's important is that I battled back and I'm going to bring home some hardware."
"Feels amazing. This season I've had some ups and down but that felt so good to go out there and prove myself like that."
Ladd and Cooper will keep their run at Nationals going in Saturday's morning session that begins at 10 a.m. Both will have a chance to finish as high as third in their respective weight classes.