SYLVANIA, Ohio - Nick Henneman (Oregon, Ohio/Clay H.S.), the first All-American in Lourdes wrestling history, finished his run at the NAIA National Championships with a fourth place finish at 141 pounds on Saturday inside the Jacobson Exhibition Center in Des Moines, Iowa.
"Nick had a tremendous national tournament," head coach Dock Kelly III said afterwards. "Despite not being 100% healthy, he put forth a tremendous effort and was able to come away with a fourth place finish. I am so proud of the way that he represented the Lourdes University wrestling program."
Henneman faced second-seeded Eric Clarke of Grand View in the national semifinals to begin the day. He fell behind after a takedown just over a minute into the opening period and was unable to escape. Trailing 2-0 heading into the second, Henneman chose neutral. He appeared to even the match with a takedown late in the period, but the decision was overturned by video following a Grand View challenge.
Following a quick escape by Clarke to begin the third, the Viking wrestler pushed his lead to 5-0 with a takedown with 56 seconds remaining. Henneman battled back, escaping and posting a takedown of his own with 17 seconds remaining, but was unable to complete the comeback. Following a point for riding time, Clarke posted a 6-3 decision.
The redshirt-freshman bounced back in the consolation semifinals against Dayton Marvel of Oklahoma Wesleyan. He scored a takedown less than a minute into the match to take the lead, and following an escape which cut the advantage in half, was awarded a penalty point to push the lead to 3-1. Marvel evened the match with a takedown but Henneman flipped the contest with a reversal and finished his opponent off with a pin with 31 seconds remaining in the opening period.
Henneman headed to the third place bout against Ethan Owen of Southeastern to close the championships. Owen scored a takedown in the closing seconds of the opening period, but Henneman escaped and trailed just 2-1 after three minutes. Choosing to start the second on the bottom, he was able to escape and head into the final period tied at two.
Owen started the final two minutes on the bottom, and took the lead with his escape 15 seconds into the stanza. He earned a takedown to increase the advantage. Henneman was able to escape in the closing moments, but unable to get the tying takedown, suffering a 5-3 decision to ultimately finish in fourth place.
"As we begin to look forward to next season, Nick will be an early favorite to win a national title," Kelly concluded.
Henneman finished the season with a 14-5 record, all at 141 pounds.
As a team, Lourdes finished in 25th place in the NAIA National Championships field of 49 schools, scoring 18 total points.