New King Cole

Junior Cole Sladek went 5-0, beat a pair of nationally-ranked wrestlers and won the 157-lb weight class at the prestigious Matman Invite.
Junior Cole Sladek went 5-0, beat a pair of nationally-ranked wrestlers and won the 157-lb weight class at the prestigious Matman Invite.

MOUNT VERNON, Iowa (1/14/17)--- Junior Cole Sladek went a perfect 5-0 at the 39th annual prestigious Matman Invite hosted by Cornell and won the 157-lb weight class.

Sladek was one of four Cobber wrestlers to post a Top 6 finish as Concordia placed sixth in the final team standings. He was also one of 13 Concordia wrestlers at the meet who combined to amass 30 wins.    

The win by Sladek is the first individual championship at a multi-team invitational for the Cobbers this year.

Adam Presler, Kody Van Den Eykel and Justice Davis had the other two Top 6 finishes for Concordia. Presler lost his first match and then rattled off five straight wins before falling in the third-place match and placing fourth at 141. Van Den Eykel went 4-2 and placed fourth at 197 and Davis won his first three matches, lost in the semifinals, had to retire due to an injury and finished sixth at 285.

Sladek entered the weekend having only wrestled in six matches this year and was 6-0. He remained unbeaten by recording two major decisions and three decisions at the Matman Invite.

Sladek opened the day by posting an 18-8 major decision over Nate Olsen from Coe. He then put up an 11-5 decision over Shea Hartzler from No.1-ranked Wartburg.

Sladek's two biggest wins of the invite came in the quarterfinals and semifinals. He posted back-to-back wins over Top 10 wrestlers on his way to the championship match. He started his two-match eye-opening stretch by dominating No.9-ranked Grant Parker of Augsburg who is a returning All-American. Sladek recorded his second straight major decision with an 18-9 win over Parker. He then stepped up in competition and beat No.3-ranked Thomas Poklikuha of Stevens Institute of Technology 9-6.

Sladek's nationally-ranked opponents in the quarterfinals had a combined record of 44-8 on the year and Poklikuha was 28-2.

Sladek capped his career day by beating Tone Fuenffinger 3-2 in the championship match.

Presler lost two matches on Saturday and both were one-point decisions. He fell 3-2 in the opening round and then won five straight – including back-to-back-to-back pin falls – to get to the third-place match. Presler then lost 15-14 to Dylan Van Sickell of Stevens Institute of Tecnology who was 23-10 heading into the invite.

Van Den Eykel won his first three matches with bonus-point victories. He got a technical fall in the opener, then a major decision in the second round and finally a pin fall in the quarterfinals over Nick Hogan of Wartburg. Van Den Eykel lost in the semifinals to No.10-ranked Guy Patron of Loras. Van Den Eykel responded with a 6-4 win in the consolation semifinals before falling 11-5 in the third-place match.

Davis, who is the Cobbers' only nationally ranked wrestler, had a pin fall and a two decisions to start his day at 285. He won by a pin in the second minute in his first match and then claimed a 4-0 decision in he second round. Davis advanced to the semifinals with a 1-0 win. His quest for a title came to an end in the semifinals with a narrow 4-3 loss to No.8-ranked Adarios Jones of Augustana (Ill.).

Davis then withdrew due to an injury and finished sixth.

141 – Adam Presler 5-2, fourth place
149 – Ben Baumgartner 1-2; Blane Tschida 1-2
157 – Cole Sladek 5-0, first place; Joe Heinz 2-2
165 – Parker Jackson 0-2; Travis Deegan 2-2; Nick Gravdahl 2-2
174 – Collin Dolej 1-2; Jake Berens 1-2
197 – Kody Van Den Eykel 4-2, fourth place; Hunter SantAmour 3-2
285 – Justice Davis 3-1, sixth place
WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will return to dual-meet action when they travel to Minneapolis to take on No.2-ranked Augsburg on Friday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. The Auggies recently took second place at the NWCA National Duals Meet.