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Always on the attack: Hutmacher still seeking to improve despite 100 straight wins

Chamberlain's Nash Hutmacher hooks the leg of Rapid City Stevens' Zechariah Patterson during the 285-pound Class A quarterfinals at the 2018 state meet at the Premier Center in Sioux Falls. (Republic file photo)

CHAMBERLAIN—Most wrestlers are just happy to win. It does not matter how it comes, as long as it is within the parameters of the rules and their hand is raised at the end of the match.

Chamberlain junior Nash Hutmacher has done so much winning since his freshman season, that he now focuses on how he wins matches. With a pin of Bon Homme/Scotland/Avon's Micah Deboer in the semifinals of Saturday's Dan Pansch/Jesse James Invitational at Brandon Valley, Hutmacher earned his 100th consecutive win, a number many people would be happy with during an entire career.

The two-time 285-pound state champion has not lost since dropping the fifth-place match of the 2016 state tournament as an eighth-grader. More than two years and 102 wins later, the second-ranked heavyweight in the nation, according to intermatwrestle.com, is still finding ways to improve.

"My goal never really was—my freshman year and my sophomore year—to go undefeated," Hutmacher said. "My goal was always to go out and wrestle the best match that I could. Whoever was the best wrestler on that day—that's just the way it was."

From the time Hutmacher steps onto the mat to the time he steps off, there's usually no doubt who the best wrestler was that day. Usually because he isn't on the mat for a long period of time.

Of his 102 consecutive wins, 11 have come by forfeit. In the 91 matches that he has actually wrestled during the streak, 81 of them have ended by pinning his opponent, with 63 coming in the first round.

One of the goals Hutmacher and Chamberlain head coach John Donovan set prior to last season was setting the state record for consecutive pins—48 by 1984 Olympic gold medalist Randy Lewis—and it reached 17 before the goal was aborted because matches became more about the streak.

Afterward, Hutmacher began to focus more on attempting to improve during each match, which has helped him become one of the best technical prep heavyweights in the country.

"When we bumped him up to varsity his seventh grade year, he was the old headlock, push-and-shove heavyweight," Donovan said. "We always talked, 'In order for you to get to the next level, you have to be a shooting heavyweight' and he took it to heart. We've always worked on his shots and attacking."

The referee's signal to start the match has essentially become more of a sign to attack for Hutmacher, as all 12 of his matches this year have been won via first-round pin.

While it's no longer about securing as many consecutive pins as possible, one of the goals Hutmacher set this year was to erase whatever doubts there may be about his dominance in the South Dakota heavyweight division after losses to current Iowa wrestler Anthony Cassioppi in national tournaments a season ago, including a 3-1 decision in the finals of the United States Marines Junior Freestyle National Championships in July.

"I just want to go out and dominate," Hutmacher said. "Every time I go out and wrestle, I'm looking to get a takedown and dominate the entire match."

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