Freeland, Mich. – The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association has announced its All-Conference wrestling team and four Alma College Scots have been honored by the league.
Sophomore Austin Wieczorek (Kentwood, Mich. / East Kentwood) was recognized as the top wrestler at 125 pounds. Wieczorek currently holds an overall record of 15-11 while winning all three of his bouts in duals versus MIAA opponents.
On January 10, Wieczorek won by major decision, 8-0, over Judah Caballero of Adrian College in the Scots' 29-12 victory over the Bulldogs. A week later the sophomore took a close decision win over Cameron Mahlich of Olivet College by a score of 6-4 as Alma nearly took down the nationally-ranked Comets. In the final dual of the season on Thursday (Feb. 7), Wieczorek won by default against Trine University (IN).
Junior Brendan Ladd (Ortonville, Mich. / Brandon) gets the honor for the MIAA's best at 141 pounds. The All-American from last year has had another incredible season with 24 wins and only one loss that occurred back in November. On a current 23-match winning streak, Ladd has rose into the top five in the national rankings heading into regionals.
In conference duals this season, Ladd found multiple ways to be victorious. Against Adrian's Dominic Paterra he earned a pin in the second period. Versus Olivet's Andrew Castaneda the junior won by major decision, 11-3, while against the Thunder's Caleb Maddox, Ladd pulled out a close 7-6 win.
The Scots earned the All-MIAA at 149 pounds in junior Zachary Cooper (Chippewa Hills, Mich. / Whitehall). The transfer from Muskegon Community College has dominated this year with a 27-1 overall record including 14 pins. Coming off his fifth first-place in a tournament this season, Cooper is in prime position heading into regionals. The junior only wrestled in two MIAA duals but breezed through his competition with wins by technical fall over both the Bulldogs' Noah Nieman and the Comets' Drew Mandell.
The fourth Scot to be named to the All-Conference team is at 285 pounds in freshman Jacob Ransom (Traverse City, Mich. / Traverse City West). In his first year at the collegiate level, Ransom has battled in the heavyweight class with a current record of 15-13. Ransom was put into a high-pressure situation in the first dual of the year against Davenport University. Up by only two points, the Scots needed Ransom to win to secure the victory. The freshman stepped up with a 7-0 decision win to earn his first collegiate victory.
In MIAA duals, Ransom went 2-1 with a win against Adrian's Isaiah Espinoza where he pinned the Bulldog with only 15 seconds left in the match. The freshman also won by decision, 13-8, over Olivet's Trevor Piggott. The Traverse City native was one of only two freshmen to be on the All-MIAA team.
This was the conference's first season sponsoring the sport of wrestling in 35 years. If a wrestler went 3-0 in MIAA duals, they were the automatic selection for the All-Conference team at their weight class. Both Ladd and Wieczorek qualified in that respect.
2019 All-MIAA Wrestling Team
125 - Austin Wieczorek, So., Alma
133 - Reese Wallis, Fr., Olivet
141 - Brendan Ladd, Jr., Alma
149 - Zachary Cooper, Jr.,Alma
157 - Cole Hersch, So., Olivet
165 - Tyler Grimsley, Sr., Olivet
174 - Haydn Kinjorski, Jr., Olivet
184 - Devon Pingel, So., Adrian
197 - Jacob Harvey, Sr., Olivet
285 - Jacob Ransom, Fr., Alma
Most Valuable Wrestler - Tyler Grimsley, Olivet