Third time is a charm for Granite Bay grad Loder
Ryan Loder is an All-American.
The Granite Bay High School graduate, a junior at the University of Northern Iowa, placed seventh at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships held March 21-23 in Des Moines, Iowa, to earn All-America status after coming up one round short in each of the previous two years.
After losing 2-1 in the quarterfinals to eventual runner-up and No. 3-ranked Robert Hamlin of Lehigh, Loder needed to win his next match to qualify for the medal rounds. The sixth-ranked Loder got it done with a 5-2 decision over No. 8 Josh Ihnen of Nebraska. Loder then fell to No. 7 Jimmy Sheptock of Maryland 3-2 in overtime but rebounded to score an 8-0 major decision over No. 11 Mike Larson of Missouri for seventh place.
Loder defeated Larson twice in the tournament, earning a 2-0 decision in the second round to advance to the quarterfinals. Loder defeated Cody Reed of Binghamton 4-0 in the first round.
Larson, a graduate of McKinleyville, placed seventh at 189 pounds in the 2008 CIF State Championships in Bakersfield. Loder placed sixth at 171 that year and placed fifth in 2009.
Loder completed his third season at Northern Iowa with a 34-6 record. He said in an interview with www.flowrestling.org he initially was disappointed because of the close losses and stalling warnings and points, but after fielding a few more questions, he described the All-America honor as “humbling.”
“Kind of heartbreaking at the time, being seventh, but 84 is a tough weight class. No doubt about that. Anybody can win it,” he said. “Being an All-American is a really good feeling. I have all of next year, so 365 days to come back, do it all over again.”
In an interview with the Press Tribune on Wednesday, Loder pointed to his two narrow losses and noted “the little things I need to work on that I’m going to improve on over the summer, which I’ve already started.”
He also plans to heal now, having wrestled through a back injury that occurred early in the season. Loder just had an MRI on a knee that was injured early in the postseason.
Teammate David Bonin placed fourth at 157 and joined Loder as the first two All-America wrestlers from Northern Iowa since 2005, according to www.unipanthers.com.
“I’m very proud, especially with our school,” Loder said, noting Bonin’s All-America honor and two Panthers teammates who finished 12th, one win away from the medal rounds. “It’s a great accomplishment for him and for both of us. As a team, we finished 15th, which is a great accomplishment.”
Contact Bill Poindexter at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at BillP_RsvPT.