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DES MOINES -- Akron-Westfield’s John Henrich set a lofty goal for himself before the season began.

He wasn’t just going to win his third state title, he wasn’t going to allow a point all season in the process.

When pinned Don Bosco’s Carson Tenold for the Class 1A 160-pound title, he accomplished all of his goals for the season - a third state title, going undefeated in his three seasons in Iowa and not allowing a point this season.

The Nebraska recruit wasn’t even off the mat before he came up with a new goal already.

“It feels awesome but as soon as I got off that mat, tomorrow begins college season,” Henrich said. “So I have to set goals for that and start training for that because I don’t want to be remembered as a three-timer. I want to be a four-time national champ. That’s what my goal is.”

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2019 State Wrestling Saturday
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Henrich became the 91st three-time state champion in Iowa’s history.

Most of the first period was scoreless as Henrich was unable to get a good look at a shot because Tenold kept backing away.

Once Tenold was given a stalling warning, Henrich shot in and got two points before the end of the first period.

He started the second period on top and got the turn for the pin.

“I felt like he had roller-skates on but whoop-te-doo. At least I got to my offense. I finally got him to stay on the mat,” said Henrich, who came to Akron-Westfield from Rapid City Stevens in South Dakota after his freshman year. “I wrestled him before and he’s very defensive so I knew I had to go out there 100 miles an hour. When I went out there, I wasn’t too worried. Just have to stay calm and collected.”

A 2-0 lead might have made Henrich comfortable considering he hasn’t given up a point this season. But Henrich knew he was going to win the match before he even stepped on the mat.

“Warming up today, I felt like I was on the moon, flying and having fun. Compared to my sophomore year when I was a nervous wreck,” Henrich said. “Now I am a senior, all of that experience kept me calm and collected.”

Henrich used that senior experience to his advantage in his match because it was not only Tenold’s first state title appearance, it was his first state tournament experience since he’s a freshman.

Henrich remembered how it felt when he was in his first state title match.

“I know it from my experience for a state title. I had an adrenaline burst and then I was gone. Now I’ve figured out what I need to do to prepare for that,” Henrich said. “He wasn’t afraid but I always want to go forward, forward, forward and I can’t give him anything cheap. I just want to thank my coaches throughout the years. They’ve always helped me, developed me and pushed me so I want to thank them.”

But that match is now in the past for Henrich, who immediately shifted his focus to his college career at Nebraska.

So far all of the goals he’s set, he’s accomplished. Now the next goal is to win four national titles, which is another incredibly lofty goal.

Henrich’s looking forward to seeing if he can accomplish that goal next.

“We will find out,” Henrich said. “I have to get in the room and start from scratch because there will be a lot harder competition I have to compete with and I am excited. I am ready to roll.”

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