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Four Lakeland College wrestlers won individual titles as the Muskie squad took first place in the Northern Wrestling Association Conference Tournament Saturday at the Wehr Center.
David Copp (125), Rob Frias (133), Ben Chapman (174), and Adam Sutter (285) all took home first place honors for Lakeland as 13 Muskies placed in the top three. In all, Lakeland scored 122 points on the day, 39 more than second place Concordia Wisconsin (83).
"The guys wrested their tails off. They did a heck of a job," Lakeland head coach Pete Rogers said. "It was awesome to see how hard they wrestled. We had 10 people in the finals, it was awesome. They dug down and gave it everything they had. Anytime you can win a tournament by almost 40 points it's a good feeling."
Copp, tied for the team lead in victories with Kory Thiel at 26 apiece, knocked off Sammy Deligio of MSOE in the finals 5-1. Copp defeated Ryan Hardy of Maranatha by technical fall and Matt Rafacz of Knox by major decision on his way to the championship match.
Frias, a newcomer at semester, pinned Kurt Kemnitz of Concordia in 47 seconds before defeating Dominick Deligio 12-3 in the finals at 133.
"Rob Frias lost to Deligio in one of his first matches of the season and really came back against him hard today," said Rogers. "Plus, he got freshman of the year and did a great job. Rob really impressed me."
At 174, Chapman defeated Dan Page by technical fall and Josh Nord on an 11-6 decision before claiming victory on a medical default in the finals by Lakeland teammate Tom Mann. Mann reached the finals by pinning Peter Thompson in 19 seconds and defeating Samuel Bramstedt 5-2.
Sutter took the title at 285 after collecting pins in his first two matches, the first in 59 seconds and the second in 1:03 against John Gesse (MSOE) and James Wagner (Knox), respectively. Sutter too won by default after fellow Muskie Bill Wood bowed out with medical reasons.
Kory Theil (141) dropped a tight 2-1 decision in the finals against bracket winner Virgil Pope of MSOE. Jake Montie took 3rd in the weight class, pinning Josh Plate of Concordia in 1:42.
Isaac Roberson took second place at 149, falling to Joe Massman of Concordia by pin at 2:21.
Jonas Flok reached the finals of 157 by pinning Matt Meiselmann in 1:29. Flok was defeated 12-6 in the championships by Joel VandeBoom of MSOE.
At 165, Jake Frias fell in 2:05 to No. 4 ranked Ben Hoover of Maranatha. Frias reached the finals on two straight major decisions.
AJ Aronstam took third place at 184, beating Marty Dertz (Knox) by a slim 4-3 margin.
Everett Wood (197) defeated John Buntrock of Lawrence in a 10-1 major decision to claim third place.
"I feel good going into regionals. I think we've got it going in the right direction," said Rogers. "Jonas had a tough loss to a good wrestler but I think he's in the right frame of mind. He's focusing on the big picture and wants to reach nationals. Other guys also lost some tough matches, but the guys we lost to, we lost to tough people. I don't feel bad about the matches we lost."
The Muskies won't travel far for the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional. The tournament will be hosted by Concordia, Wis., next Saturday, Feb. 21. First-round matches are slated for 9 a.m. in Mequon.