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OMAHA — From 1994 to 1997, the Hastings High wrestling team produced four individual state champions. Since then, the Tigers went 15 years without another champion.
That streak came to an end Saturday.
Sophomore Nolan Laux became the ninth HHS wrestler to win a state championship, winning the program's 12th title Saturday at the CenturyLink Center.
"It's surreal. It just hit me that I'm a state champion. It's amazing," Laux said after his championship match, a 9-2 decision over Omaha Burke's Otis Rollins in the Class A 106-pound finals.
Laux got to share the title with his dad Brian Laux, the Tigers' head coach.
"He worked so hard since the state tournament last year when he was defeated in the semifinals by (Grand Island's Dante) Rodriguez," the HHS coach said. "We spent a lot of time in the offseason. Cutting the weight and there are a lot of things that people on the outside don't see. They just see the end result. I'm just extremely proud."
Nolan cruised in his three matches leading up to the finals, and the championship was no different. The only points Nolan allowed in 9-2 decision was a reversal in the third period. He recorded three takedowns and two escapes during the match and also picked up a stalling point.
After the match, Nolan embraced his father.
"He has been there since the beginning," Nolan said. "To have him there in my corner is magical."