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Hutmacher defends title, wins showdown with Casperson

Chamberlain's Nash Hutmacher celebrates after defeating Beresford/Alcester-Hudson's Nick Casperson for the Class A 285-pound state championship during the state wrestling tournament on Saturday at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls. (Matt Gade / Republic)

SIOUX FALLS -- It lived up to the hype.

In one of the most anticipated high school wrestling matches in South Dakota history, Chamberlain’s Nash Hutmacher handled the challenge from Beresford/Alcester-Hudson standout Nick Casperson, as the two nationally ranked grapplers gave the Premier Center crowd plenty to cheer about in the featured Class A 285-pound title match on Saturday in Sioux Falls.

Hutmacher defended his title by outlasting Casperson 3-1, picking up an escape point and had a crucial takedown in the third period to erase a 1-0 deficit.

“That was a lot of fun,” said Hutmacher, who improved to 46-0 on the season and extended his winning streak to 90. “The game plan was to go at him and keep the pressure on him. I could tell he was getting tired and I knew it was going to work out.”

The first period was full of excitement with both wrestlers going right after each other. Hutmacher continuously took shots at Caspersen, often extending out of bounds and in some cases, off the mat. Casperson, who fell to 37-1 on the season, nearly caught Hutmacher for two points but the quick move was called out of bounds.

“There was no feeling-out period. It was go hard right away,” Hutmacher said. “I was wearing down too, but my goal is to always be in better shape than the guy I’m wrestling and that’s how it worked out.”

Casperson, a senior, who will wrestle for Fresno State next year, bumped up to 285 pounds at the region tournament to in hopes to challenge Hutmacher for the title. He admitted after the match dealing with Hutmacher’s size proved to be too tall of task.

“He’s a big guy. I was hoping to come out in the first period and tire him out,” Casperson said. “He did the opposite, he turned that on me. I was gassed in the third (period). … It feels good to get tired. It sucks to lose.”

Hutmacher completed his sophomore season much like his freshman campaign, handling every challenger in front of him. He praised the support he’s received from Chamberlain and Oacoma and added he’s proud to bring back home another state championship.

“That was two really outstanding athletes going toe-to-toe. It was a show and our training paid off,” Chamberlain head coach John Donovan said. “The game plan was to push pace, push pace, push pace. It’s hard to carry that much weight.”

While some in the state might have doubted Hutmacher against a more seasoned wrestler like Casperson, Donovan said Hutmacher proved himself once again.

“He’s good. He’s the real deal,” Donovan said. “He’s only getting better.”

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