LA CROSSE, Wis. - Freshman Cole Erickson (Mediapolis, Iowa/Mediapolis) has earned All-American honors at the NCAA National Wrestling Championships, as he advanced to the final day in the consolation bracket.
Erickson opened the day with a pigtail match against Wisconsin-Platteville's Trevor Harsh. Erickson quickly went to work, recording a takedown :51 into the match and notching four nearfall points with 1:09 left in the first period. A late reversal for Harsh cut the lead to 6-2. Erickson choose bottom to start the second period, as Harsh erased the riding time and evened the match with four nearfall points with :06 left in the period. Erickson scored on a reversal with 1:02 left in the third period and rode out Harsh for the 8-6 victory.
In the first round, Erickson was faced with third-seeded Sam Schneider of Ithaca. Erickson scored on a takedown :07 into the match, but Schneider escaped with 2:13 left in the opening period. Schneider then took a 7-2 lead with takedown and four point nearfall with 1:46 left in the opening period. Erickson was able to get out with 1:30 left in the period and got a takedown with :14 left, but Schneider escaped with :10 left in the first period, as he led 8-5 after one. No scoring took place in the second period, as Erickson rode out Schneider for the entire period. Erickson quickly escaped to start the third period. Erickson was in on a takedown in the final seconds, but couldn't finish the move for the win. Erickson was awarded a point for riding time, as Schneider won 8-7.
Erickson didn't mess around in his next match against sixth-seeded Austin Kelly of Olivet. Erickson recorded a takedown :32 into the match and won by fall in :59. The victory moved him to the consolation second round, where a win guarantees All-American honors.
Once again, Erickson wasted no time scoring in his match with Wesleyan's Carter Armendarez. Erickson recorded a takedown :24 into the match and got a four point nearfall :28 later. With 1:23 left in the period, he was awarded a two-point nearfall before Armendarez escaped with 1:07 left in the period. Erickson took him down one more time with :29 left in the period, as he led 10-1 after the first. Erickson notched a takedown and four point nearfall in the second period to win by 16-1 technical fall at 4:09.
Erickson will face Waynesburg's Shaun Wilson in the consolation quarterfinals Saturday morning. Erickson has guaranteed himself of a top-eight finish and All-American honors, while he can finish as high as third. By earning All-American honors, Erickson becomes the 63rd wrestler in school history to earn All-American honors. It is also the 15th-straight year Coe has had an All-American on the mat.
Wrestling begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, Wis. A link to live video and results is available at CoeAthletics.com.