KM's Cochrane stages day's biggest upset
Lasers push two wrestlers through to state tourney
Nobody saw it coming, and if they turned away for even 30 seconds, they didn't see it arrive, either.
Kettle Moraine heavyweight Alex Cochrane took down Waukesha West's Breyon Cosey in the final wrestleback of the day Saturday at Oconomowoc, pinning him in 16 seconds and grabbing one of the day's biggest upsets with a state-tournament berth on the line. Cochrane will join teammate Jacob Laux at the WIAA Division 1 state wrestling meet at the Kohl Center in Madison, beginning Thursday.
"I'd say if it wasn't for my dad and Laux, I would never be able to have the right mindset for this," Cochrane said. "They helped me out a lot over the season. Jake got me better. I can't even explain to you how I feel right now."
With top-two placement necessary for advancement to state, Cochrane fell to Brookfield Central's Bryce Gilbert in the finals and then earned a wrestleback with Cosey in a battle for the second and final qualifying slot. Cosey pinned Cochrane twice during the regular season on his way to a Classic 8 Conference crown.
"I knew that I could not lock up with him … the past few times I have, and he's pinned me," Cochrane said. "I figured I had to change something. Laux told me to shoot, my dad told me to shoot and I shot right away, and there it was. Honestly, I would say it's probably one of the best feelings I've ever had."
Laux, who stormed his way to the 215-pound title, gave the Lasers a second state qualifier. KM wrestlers have not been to state since 2005.
"He was able to advance quickly, and it's pretty uncommon," said KM coach Frank Cuda, noting that Laux began the sport as a freshman. "Most of those kids at the state tournament have all been wrestling since kindergarten."
Laux also got the break of seeing the No. 1 and No. 3 wrestlers in the Wisconsin Wrestling Online state rankings on the other side of the state bracket.
"I did my homework, took care of business in the weight room and the practice room, always going hard, never satisfied," Laux said. "I took the mentality of, 'If I win this match, next time I have to major him. I major him, next time I have to pin him or tech fall. I pin him in the third period, now I have to pin him in the first.' I'm always looking to improve."
Laux said he wasn't anticipating being star-struck in the state tourney.
"I'm just looking forward to winning, the same things I've done all year," he said.
Sophomore Dilan White reached the finals but lost his next two matches. Daulton Vallesky took fourth at 103 pounds, and Eric MacFarland and Simon Villegas fell in the first round.
First-round matchups facing local wrestlers at the WIAA state meet Thursday:
215 - Jacob Laux, Kettle Moraine (41-2) vs. Chase Letson, Milton (33-10)
285 - Alex Cochrane, Kettle Moraine (16-9) vs. John Jude, Milwaukee Custer (36-11)
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