Maddie Ruckdashel and Scott Cook represented New London on Wisconsin’s National Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling teams in Fargo, North Dakota.
Ruckdashel earned All-American honors, finishing seventh out of 28 competitors. Cook competed with the Wisconsin National Greco-Roman Team for the first time, but lost both of his matches.
Ruckdashel competed this past weekend on the Wisconsin Cadet Women’s National Freestyle team in the 105-pound weight class, pinning her first opponent. She lost her second match by a pin.
She also had the opportunity to compete as a junior on the Wisconsin National Women’s Freestyle Team. She had an exciting two days of wrestling, winning her first match by a technical fall. Her next match was quite exciting, as she wrestled a USA women’s world team member. Ruckdashel wrestled hard, but came up short with a 6-4 loss.
On day two, she started by pinning her first opponent and then notching a 13-10 victory. That win gave her a podium spot as she finished in the top eight in the nation, earning her the title of All-American.
Ruckdashel was pinned in her next match, but still had a chance to wrestle in the medal rounds for seventh or eighth place. She came out strong and pinned her opponent to capture seventh place out of 28 ladies in the nation.
“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go to this event when I was first asked to go, but eventually I decided to do it,” Ruckdashel said. “It was really fun to go out there with a team of 14 other girls. I wasn’t sure how well I’d be able to compete with them, but I did well and it was really cool.”
Earning All-American honors was the highlight of the trip for Ruckdashel.
“Once I won the match that qualified me as an All-American and earned a spot on the podium, I was really excited,” she said. “That was my goal going into the day and it felt good to accomplish that goal.”
Ruckdashel said she faced tough competition and was amazed by the dedication of the athletes she competed against.
“Many of these girls are on the world team,” she said. “They’ve been practicing all summer. It was fun to compete with them. They’re great wrestlers.”
Ruckdashel is looking forward to wrestling with the New London wrestling team this winter and said she hopes to make it to sectionals.
Cook competed this past weekend on the Wisconsin Cadet Greco-Roman National Team in the 126-pound weight class. He was pinned in his first round of competition and lost his second match by a 10-0 technical fall. This was his first time competing with the Wisconsin National Greco-Roman Team.
Cook said he placed at the Wisconsin Freestyle State competition, spent some time getting to know the coaches and attended several camps after that event.
“I asked if I could go to North Dakota and the coaches told me to attend a few more camps,” he said. “I just got involved and went to as many camps as I could and then I was in.”
Cook faced elite competition at nationals.
“It’s one of the harder tournaments in the country,” he said. “There were a lot of tough competitors. I expected to do better, but I still had lots of fun. It was a really big event.”
Cook has been wrestling and training hard all summer to prepare for the high school wrestling season. He has high hopes for the Bulldogs this year.
“I hope to make it back to state this year,” he said. “I went to state last year, but I want to place at state this year.”