Jan. 21—CHAMBERLAIN, S.D. — Chamberlain's Noah Hutmacher was already on his way to having another impressive wrestling season for the Cubs, until he made it a memorable one, after shocking the crowd with the fastest pin in the state of South Dakota.
Hutmacher, already 21-4 on the season, came into the Battler Invitational at Gettysburg on Saturday, Jan. 15, determined to fulfill the goal he set for himself of beating the Chamberlain program wrestling pin record.
The fastest pin of his career before entering the Gettysburg north gym was a 15-second pin against Brandon Valley's Joshua Solorio on Dec. 12, 2020. On the bus ride to Gettysburg, Hutmacher made it clear to his teammates what he planned on trying to accomplish sometime during the tournament.
"I was talking to some of my teammates on the bus ride to the tournament and at the tournament, telling them I want to beat our high school pin record, which was six seconds," Hutmacher said. "Our school resource officer and our school principal, Jeff Steckelberg, both were tied for it and I wanted to beat it, just to let them know I did that."
After receiving a bye in the first round, Hutmacher took the mat for the first time that day against Sage Hermann, an eighth-grader from Potter County. He immediately went for the takedown and to his own surprise, he pinned Hermann in an unprecedented, state setting four seconds.
"My reaction in the moment was so hype because I had a bunch of teammates in my corner watching the clock for me," Hutmacher said. "When I looked at them right after the match and they all were giving me the thumbs up that I got, I was super pumped. I was just happy that I beat the school record but after talking to my Dad later, I realized it was a state record and I was just amazed."
Chamberlain's head coach John Donovan didn't witness in real time Hutmacher make history because he was at a different mat watching another wrestler perform. After Hutmacher successfully completed his near impossible task, Donovan said he's not making much of that record and he wishes Hutmacher would have told him what his intentions were.
"I wish he'd had let me know before he was going to go do that because I had some quality control to go take care of afterwards," Donovan said. "It was a young wrestler and I had some coaches I had to go apologize to. ... I was more impressed with him pinning the No. 3-ranked wrestler in North Dakota in 21 seconds in the first-place match. That was more impressive to me."
Hutmacher said he had no knowledge that Hermann was an eighth-grader until he checked the bracket after the match. He went on to beat Ipswich/Bowdle's Kadyn Weisser by technical fall 17-2 before facing Daniel Schumacher, the No. 3-ranked wrestler in the state of North Dakota.
Schumacher was 20-3 as he walked onto the mat to wrestle against Hutmacher. Schumacher had won 12 of his matches by pin and his three losses at the time had come by major decision 6-5, 9-8 and 6-3. Hutmacher handled one of North Dakota's top wrestlers fairly easily, pinning Schumacher in 22 seconds.
"I was hanging out with our 22-pound wrestler Wyatt [Powers] before his match and when I realized I was next up, I started getting focused because his record showed he was pretty good," Hutmacher said. "I went and pinned him quick and again my Dad came up to me, told me where he ranked in North Dakota and I was just surprised about what all happened that day."
After winning his 24th match of the season, Hutmacher now has a record of 24-4 with three more tournament appearances and two duals against Burke/Gregory and Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes before the Region 3A tournament on Feb. 19. Hutmacher has won 15 matches by pin this year and nine of them have come in less than 36 seconds.
Last year, outside of five forfeits and two first-round byes, Hutmacher finished his sophomore season with a 33-11 record and placed third in the state tournament. He lost by pin in the semifinals to eventual state champion Luke Rasmussen from Brookings, but rebounded in the third-place match by beating Milbank's Toby Schneck in a 7-0 major decision.
As his dynamic junior season is less than a month away from regionals, Hutmacher has already faced Rasmussen once this year at the Madison Invitational on Dec. 18, 2021. They both battled in the first-place match at 195 pounds and Rasmussen beat Hutmacher by major decision 12-0. Despite the loss, Hutmacher does intend to see the senior down the line and put on a better showing than he did earlier this year and last season in the state tournament.
"Every now and then I go and see what he did at a tournament or see if I wrestle somebody he wrestled already," Hutmacher said. "I don't check too often because we don't wrestle the same competition. I just want to finish better than I did last year at least. Obviously the goal is to win it, but second is an option too. I focused on gaining weight and gaining muscle mass all summer so I know I'll be giving myself the best chance to get first this year."