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Remember the Wrestler: Brian Hessenius, Le Mars

To start, Brian holds the record for the fastest pin in Iowa High School State Wrestling history. He pinned a dude from Dubuque Senior first round of the 2000 tournament in that time. Brian has never seem film of this and has been wanting to find it since the tournament, so if anyone can help him out here, let either him or us know and we will get it to him. Same goes for podium pics he was in: 1997, 3A 103, 1998, 3A 103, 1999, 3A 112 and 2000, 3A 112. He hasn’t seen those either, so if ya got’m, send’m over and we will post on here! 

His pin may be tied for the 3rd fastest pin in state tournament history, regardless of state!! Or maybe all-time? It’s an insanely fast time to pin someone in!


When you hit 8th grade, it can be somewhat of a surreal experience watching the state tournament. Because a lot of the guys you wrestled in odd years growing up, not only qualified, but immediately start doing damage as Freshmen at that level. So in 1997, Karl Bratland from Humboldt and Brian Hessinius from Le Mars were the first two that I noticed on the awards stand, who were in my AAU brackets growing up. They both placed at 103 lbs that year. Jeff Harrison was another guy from that grade who placed, but he was always smaller than me.  When I saw Hessinius up there, he fit right in there. It didn’t seem surreal at all because this guy was in my AAU bracket the year before and he seemed like a man amongst boys in that bracket. Here is what I wrote about Hessinius in the article, 1996 AAU C-100 Podium Pic:

* Brian Hessinius at that age was probably the most intimidating looking guy in that weight range at the time not named Tysen Christensen. The big talk in the holding area all weekend was how no one wanted to wrestle him. When a dude can wear rainbow colored polka-dot heart boxer shorts at a wrestling event and still look intimidating, that is impressive. I got to know him when we were waiting to get our medals. He was the most laid back and friendly person I met all weekend. He was a state champ in HS.

 So yeah, this dude was awesome. Awesome wrestler to watch… he really brawled out there.

1. Jeff Wiele
2. Travis Saunders
3. Seth Houston
4. Brian Hessenius
5. Garrett South
6. Joshua Swafford
7. Kurt McGonegle
8. Andy Reed


Who or what encouraged you to give wrestling a try?

My father pushed me to give wrestling a try. He never pushed too hard, but always pushed me to go!


Do you have any family who wrestled or wrestles currently? Parents, children, brothers, etc.? How did they do?

My father wrestled. My brothers, Shane and John wrestled as well. Shane placed 3rd at state. John also placed 3rd. Also, I have 2 daughters that wrestle, 1 is a Freshman, 1 is a 7th grader.


What were your youth results? Any rivals there?

I only placed at AAU State one time.  I was more of a high school wrestler.


What was your record in HS?

157-9 with 136 pins.


How did you place at state every year?

5th Freshman year, 1st Sophomore year, 2nd Junior year and placed 3rd as a Senior.


What were some of the most notable adverse challenges or moments you experienced in wrestling and how did it turn out?

Every single night I pushed myself harder and harder.  Always tried to do it harder than I did the night before. I wanted to do things this way to push myself to the point where I needed to be.  Got to a point where I needed to be up all night to get a good work out. That was an adverse challenge. Oh yeah, not eating was also one, lol.


How would you describe your wrestling style?

Aggressively defensive.


You still hold the record at the state tournament for fastest pin to ever take place at the tournament.  It’s something crazy like 4-5 seconds.  What did you do in that match to end it so quickly?

:05 seconds and it is still a record!!! 20 years now! What I did was I snapped his head and then grabbed his wrist and then over-hooked his head and under-hooked his other side/arm and popped him and he went straight to his back. Was able to follow through and finish quickly.


Who was your most influential coach?

Tom. I never wanted to cross him. I also never wanted to disappoint him.


What was the most upset you ever felt after a loss?

Losing is just part of the game. However I was upset with myself one time. I wrestled JD Naig from Emmetsburg at the conference finals. He beat me by like 2 points.  I was mad, mad, mad. I definitely should have made sure to be more prepared for that one.


Who was your most influential wrestler that you looked up to growing up?

My father. He always told us to just try to be as good as him.  Little did we know that we were all gonna blow him outta the water!!!


Who are your favorite current wrestlers?

Kylie and Keira are my wonderful daughters. They are my favorites!!!


If you could go back and change one thing about your wrestling career, what would it be?

Not a damn thing! Wrestling was, is and always will be, “life!”


What was your best wrestling memory/accomplishment? How hard did you work?

Winning the state title. Prior to, I never ran so much. I never worked out so much. It goes to show you how much you can accomplish when you wrestle, run and work out for a year straight!


Who were some of your most notable competitors in high school? College?

Travis Paulson and I had to battle at a district and state level. We were 1-1 against each other!!!


Did you wrestle all year or was it seasonal for you?

I wrestled all year. I placed 7th at Nationals for Greco.


Did you wrestle after high school?

I wrestled at Waldorf for a bit and had a 17-17 record.


What other sports did you play?

I played football for a while, but quit because I didn’t want it to affect my wrestling.


What are your favorite sports teams?

The Chicago Cubs, the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Minnesota Vikings.


What are your hobbies?

Hunting. I work on cars for a living.  My favorite things to do are to make people happy and to talk about wrestling.


How has wrestling shaped you as a person to this day?

Wrestling becomes a part of a person’s lifestyle.  The hard work, the determination, it becomes a huge part of who they are as a person.


What do you do now?

I manage an auto shop.


Are you still involved with wrestling?

I am a little bit. My kids are in the program, so I try to help out when I can.


Any advice for upcoming wrestlers?

Hard work = success. This doesn’t just go for wrestling, but for life in general!


Any chance we see you wrestle again at an Old Timer’s tournament?

HAHAHA! Not this fat guy, I’m tipping the scales at 185 lbs. now!! Lol!


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