Roanoke, Va. – Juniors Brendan Ladd (Ortonville, Mich. / Brandon) and Zachary Cooper (Chippewa Hills, Mich. / Whitehall) finished up their action at the NCAA Championships Saturday. Ladd took home seventh place at 141 pounds while Cooper earned fifth place at 149 pounds. Both achieved All-American status by reaching the second day of competition.
How It Happened
- Cooper started his Saturday matched up against Luke Hernandez of the University of Mount Union. Hernandez was one of the two wrestlers to defeat Cooper all season up to that point. The junior defeated Hernandez 16-11 to advance to the consolation semifinals where he dropped a 6-1 decision.
- That set up the Chippewa Hills native to battle for fifth place. In the bout, Cooper took an early 4-0 lead in the first period thanks to a take down and a near fall. That's all the Scot would need as he allowed his opponent to score only two points the rest of the match giving Cooper the win and the honor as the fifth best wrestler in the nation at his weight.
- Ladd lost his first bout of the day by a score of 9-7. That slotted him right into the seventh-place match which he dominated with a 14-0 major decision victory.
- Ladd won a total of three times at this year's NCAAs. The same amount as he did in his sixth-place finish at last year's Nationals. The Ortonville native completes his junior season with a record of 32-3.
- Cooper goes 4-2 in his first trip to the NCAA Div. III Tournament. His ends up tying the program's all-time record for wins in a season with 36 that was set by Ladd last year.
- Alma earned 17th place in the team standings of the NCAA Championships.