Alma, Mich. – The Alma College wrestling team defeated Adrian College, 29-12, in the Scots home opener Thursday (Jan. 10). Junior Brendan Ladd (Ortonville, Mich. / Brandon) and freshman Jacob Ransom each won by pin fall. The Scots improve their dual record to 3-2 overall and 1-0 in conference while the Bulldogs drop to 5-2 and 0-1 in the MIAA.
- The night started off well for the Scots with sophomore Austin Wieczorek (Kentwood, Mich. / East Kentwood) winning by major decision, 8-0. Wieczorek took control of the bout early scoring six points in the first period.
- After a win by decision for the Bulldogs, Alma went on a run of three straight victories from Ladd, junior Zachary Cooper (Chippewa Hills, Mich. / Whitehall) and freshman Jayce Kuehnlein (St. Louis, Mich. / St. Louis). Ladd was up 3-2 when he secured the pin late in the second period. Cooper dominated his opponent from the start reaching a 16-0 technical fall in the opening minute of the second. Kuehnlein slowly increased his lead through the bout with finally coming out with major decision by the score of 8-0. This put the Scots up 19-3 halfway through the dual.
- Adrian was able to gain some points in the latter bouts but the Scot built too much of a lead. Freshman Lucas Brewer (Belleville, Mich. / Huron) earned a big win in the 174 lb weight class as he took a 7-2 lead at the end of the first and held on for a 13-3 major decision victory.
- The dual win was already secured by the Scots heading into the heavyweight and final bout of the night but that is where the fireworks happened. Ransom and his opponent Isaiah Espinoza fought hard back and forth that had the whole crowd inside Art Smith Arena on the edge of their seats. Then, with only 14 seconds left on the clock, the freshman pinned Espinoza ending the meet with a bang while bringing the audience to their feet.
- Ladd extends his win streak to 18 in a row while improving his record to 19-1 on the season. The All-American ranks fifth in his weight class in the latest InterMat Wresting rankings.
- Cooper stays undefeated with a 13-0 record. The transfer junior is second in the nation in his class according to InterMat Wrestling.
- Ransom and Brewer both earned their 10th win in their rookie campaigns.
- The Scots and Bulldogs wrestled two exhibition matches before the start of the varsity dual. Junior Isaac Nave (Onaway, Mich. / Onaway Area) won by a 6-3 decision. Sophomore Zachary Janderski (Bad Axe, Mich. / Bad Axe) had to forfeit during his bout due to injury.
- This was the first dual for the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 35 years as the conference has once against sponsored the sport. The four schools of Alma and Adrian as well as Trine University (IN) and Olivet College will all face each other throughout the season and the team with the best conference record will be determined MIAA Champions.
What He Said
"It was a good day, guys wrestled well. You could see the fight in all of them and I liked seeing it."
The Scots do not have a lot of time for their next competition. They will head to Manchester University in Indiana for the Spartan Mat Classic on Saturday (Jan. 12). Then Alma returns home for some more MIAA action with Olivet College coming to town Thursday (Jan. 17) for a dual at 7 p.m.