Brigham Kleinhenz had a lofty goal when he began his senior year at Columbus North.
He wanted to be All-State in all three of his sports.
Kleinhenz is well on his way to achieving that goal. He made All-State in football after leading the Bull Dogs in tackles. Now, he’s intent on making it in wrestling and track and field.
“Football … that was shocking to me,” Kleinhenz said. “For wrestling and pole vaulting, I want to make it to state and be a three-sport All-State athlete.”
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Wrestling is the sport currently in season, and Kleinhenz has been unstoppable since moving down a weight class. He was 14-2 at 182 pounds and is 16-0 at 170 going into tonight’s match against Columbus East.
Kleinhenz, who has lost 15 pounds since football season, figures to stay at 170.
“Now that I’m at 170, it’s a whole different story, wrestling kids that weigh 12 pounds less than at 182. I feel a lot stronger. Being able to control them, lifting them up and taking them down, all aspects of wrestling are easier.”
Last year, Kleinhenz was a semistate qualifier at 182. He was regional runner-up and received a tough draw at the Evansville Semistate, where he fell in the ticket round, one win short of qualifying for state.
This season, Kleinhenz has 25 pins in his 32 matches. He is ranked No. 15 at 170.
“I just love the way he wrestles,” North coach Justin Cooper said. “He’s aggressive every match, scores a ton of points. He’s somebody that didn’t wrestle growing up and didn’t wrestle in middle school, so he’s improved a ton since his freshman year.”
Kleinhenz credits Cooper and assistant coach Anthony Meister, along with his sparring partner, junior 195-pounder Tay Wells, and the rest of his Bull Dog teammates for his success.
After graduation, Kleinhenz plans to embark on two-year mission, then will likely will go to college at BYU. A state qualifier in the pole vault last season, he hopes to be able to pole vault for the Cougars.
With pole vaulting and football taking up most of his offseason, Kleinhenz hasn’t spent much time wrestling other than during wrestling season. But he was able to pick up this winter where he left off at the end of last season.
“It’s kind of like riding a bike,” Kleinhenz said. “Once you knock off the rust a little bit, you figure out your moves again and get back into it, and you can ride it smoothly again.”
Columbus East at Columbus North wrestling
When: 7 p.m. today
Where: Columbus North High School