While the No. 8 Michigan wrestling team struggled to compete with No. 1 Penn State on Sunday, Adam Coon thrived in his usual role for the Wolverines: the reliable heavyweight. The junior beat Penn State’s Jan Johnson, earning his second victory of the weekend after beating Northwestern’s Conan Jennings on Friday. These wins are new notches on the belt for Coon, who has enjoyed enormous success in his time with the Wolverines.
“Everything (Adam) does, he pours himself into it,” said Michigan coach Joe McFarland. “Whether it’s in the classroom or on the wrestling mat, he’s just that kind of a guy.”
In a meet that saw the Wolverines struggle to get anything going, Coon was steady, winning via major decision, 15-5.
The win brought Coon’s record to 12-0 on the season, ranking him as the No. 4 heavyweight in the nation. While this ranking is impressive on its own, Coon is looking to rise all the way to No. 1.
“It’s kind of a nice feeling to be back there because it gives me someone to chase,” Coon said. “But it’s not a nice feeling because I know that I’m not quite there yet.”
Forty seconds was all Coon needed to get a pinfall victory Friday evening against Northwestern. In a match where Michigan led from wire to wire, Coon’s decisive victory was inspiring for his teammates.
“Those (pinfall victories) bring more energy into the arena,” McFarland said. “Our fans love it, and our guys feel that. It just brings good energy to the team.”
While his teammates may have fed off Coon’s performance, he points to them as the motivators for his success.
“When (junior Dom Abounader) gets a fall, or when (sixth-year senior Max Huntley) gets a fall, I can feel the adrenaline in me,” Coon said. “Everybody’s going out there and dominating, I’ve got to go out there and keep up the pace.”
Coon will look to remain perfect on the season when the team wrestles Maryland and Rutgers this upcoming weekend. While Coon will look to win in both of those matches, he also looks forward to his ultimate goals for the season.
“(I try) to take it a match at a time,” Coon said. “But in the practice room, (ranking No. 4) kind of sits a little salty with me. (I want to) make sure that I’m getting after those guys. Because if there’s three guys ahead of me, that means there’s three guys that I need to beat in order to be a national champ.”
Coon has come close to a national championship in the past, finishing second in the NCAA tournament last season. And with more dominating performances like the ones this weekend, Coon will be extremely tough to beat.