OMAHA — Sutton's Joseph Hinrichs is making sure his name is littered throughout the Mustangs' record books. The Mustangs' 160-pounder became the fifth state champion in school history last season, but now he's adding to his resume.
On Saturday, Hinrichs notched his 170th victory, which set the school record for wins in a career. The win came in the semifinals, advancing him to his second straight championship match, as he now looks to become the first Sutton wrestler ever to win two state titles.
The championship round for classes B and C begins at 7 p.m. Saturday.
"I'm ecstatic. Last year was a blast and I'm really looking forward to it," Hinrichs said of reaching another title match. "It should be fun."
In true Hinrichs fashion, the Sutton senior strong armed his way to a 6-3 semifinal victory over Brdigeport's Steven Menke, who had just three losses going into the match.
It took just 18 seconds for Hinrichs to get on the scoreboard with a takedown. Menke escaped and then took the lead with a takedown, but just six seconds later Hinrichs tied the match with an escape of his own.
Hinrichs had the option to choose position in the second, and rather than deferring to the third period, he took bottom in order to get back on top of the scoreboard with an escape, which he did. The 4-3 lead was crucial to Hinrichs.
"It's super important for me because my wrestling style is a lot more conservative. So, it helps a lot when I get ahead because I can dictate the match a lot more and do what I want to do."
Knowing how easily Hinrichs can dictate the match when in top position, Menke chose to start the third period in neutral. But the reigning champion was still able to control the match, putting the finishing touches on the win with a takedown with just eight seconds left.
Awaiting Hinrichs in the state championship will be Garrett Kluthe of Ord. A third-place medalist last year, Kluthe goes into the finals with a record of 33-3. Hinrichs has not faced Kluthe this year, but he did beat the Chanticleer in the 152-pound semifinals last year. Still, Hinrichs said he's going to prepare for this year's championship bout the same way he did last year.
"I do as much as possible to keep it like every other match. The same warmup, the same mindset and everything," he said. "It's definitely the most fun match of the year because there's the most to win off of it... It's about being most consistent."