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Josh Ihnen
Weight: 184
Year: Junior
Hometown: Sheldon, Iowa
High School: Sheldon

Honors & Awards

  • NCAA All-American (8th, 184, 2012)
  • Four-Time NCAA Championship Qualifier (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
  • Two-Time CoSIDA Academic All-American (2012, 2013)
  • CoSIDA First-Team Academic All-American (2013)
  • CoSIDA Second-Team Academic All-American (2012)
  • CoSIDA First-Team Academic All-District (2012)
  • Big Ten Distinguished Scholar (2012, 2013)
  • Two-Time Academic All-Big Ten (2012, 2013)
  • Nebraska Outstanding Wrestler of the Year (2011-12)
  • Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Fall 2011, 2012; Spring 2012, 2013)
  • Two-Time First-Team Academic All-Big 12 (2010, 2011)
  • Three-Time NWCA All-Academic Team Member (2010, 2011, 2012)
  • Six-Time Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll (Fall 2008, 2009, 2010; Spring 2009, 2010, 2011)
  • 4.0 Grade-Point Average (Spring 2011)
  • Nebraska Most Improved Wrestler (2009-10)
  • Nebraska Co-Redshirt of the Year (2008-09)
  • Nebraska Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Representative (2009-10, 2010-11)

2012-13 (Senior)
NCAA Championships
For the third time in four years, Josh Ihnen fell one match short of All-America honors, finishing his final NCAA Championships in his home state with a 3-2 record. Ihnen, the No. 8-seed, opened with a first-round 6-0 decision over North Dakota State’s MacKain Stoll. In the second round, Ihnen lost by a 3-1 decision to Pittsburgh’s Max Thomusseit to drop to the wrestleback bracket.

Ihnen bounced back by defeating Virginia’s Stephen Doty, 7-5, and Illinois’ Tony Dallago, 9-6, in the consolation bracket. His victory over Dallago marked the 100th of his career, joining 20 other wrestlers in Husker history. Ihnen’s tournament run came to an end against No. 6-seed Ryan Loder of Northern Iowa in a 5-2 decision.

Big Ten Championships
Ihnen, the No. 3-seed, finished fourth at the Big Ten Championships. He opened with two victories, outlasting Michigan’s Chris Heald, 13-2, and Illinois’ Tony Dallago, 7-5, before falling by a 10-2 major decision to Minnesota’s Kevin Steinhaus.

In the consolation bracket, Ihnen rallied with a 3-0 decision over Ohio State’s CJ Magrum before dropping an 8-1 decision to Iowa’s Ethen Lofthouse in the third-place match.

Regular Season
Ihnen completed his final season as a Husker with a 27-8 record, becoming the 21st wrestler in school history to compile 100 career wins. Ihnen achieved the second-most dual wins on the season with 13, earning 52 points in the process. His six technical falls led the Huskers in 2012-13 as he added two pins and five major decisions.

Ihnen opened the season with a first-place finish at the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open, defeating his four opponents by a combined score of 49-5. He added a technical fall and major decision in Nebraska’s first two duals before dropping his first match of the season by a 3-1 decision to Minnesota’s Kevin Steinhaus.

Ihnen responded by reeling off nine consecutive victories, which included the 184-pound title at the Cliff Keen Invitational on Dec. 1. Over the last two months of the regular season, Ihnen went 6-3, adding two technical falls and one major decision. He was named to the Academic All-Big Ten team at season’s end for the second consecutive year.

2011-12 (Junior)
NCAA Championships
Ihnen earned All-America honors after finishing eighth at 184 pounds at the 2012 NCAA Championships. Ihnen won his first two matches against Brown's Ophir Bernstein (MD, 16-4) and Boise State's Jacob Swartz (D, 3-2). However, Ihnen fell in his next match, 7-4, against No. 2 seed Robert Hamlin of Lehigh, putting Ihnen in the wrestleback bracket.

Ihnen responded with a 5-3 decision over Northern Iowa's Ryan Loder before falling to No. 3 seed Ben Bennett of Central Michigan by injury default. In Ihnen's final match, which was for seventh place against Wyoming's Joe LeBlanc, he received a medical forfeit. Ihnen finished the NCAA Championships with a 3-3 record.

Big Ten Championships
Ihnen took second place at the Big Ten Championships, finishing with a 2-1 record. After earning a bye in the first round, he defeated Purdue's Braden Atwood by decision, 6-0. Ihnen kept the momentum going in the semifinal match, outlasting No. 2 seed Quentin Wright of Penn State, 3-1.

In the championship match against No. 1 seed Kevin Steinhaus of Minnesota, Ihnen lost by sudden victory, 3-1.

Regular Season
Ihnen went 27-9 with a 16-3 dual record during his junior season at 184 pounds. He opened the season with a seven-match winning streak, outscoring his opponents 62-8. He took third place at the Cliff Keen Invitational before falling to Wyoming's Joe LeBlanc, 4-3. However, Ihnen responded to that loss with a 10-match winning streak, including five wins by major decision.

Ihnen went 7-2 in Big Ten duals, including a pin in 0:44 against Indiana's Luke Sheridan. He finished the season with 60 dual points and 38 dual takedowns. 

Ihnen was a standout in the classroom, claiming second-team CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. He was a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-District selection and was named a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar. He was also an academic All-Big Ten pick and earned a pair of selections to the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll.

2010-11 (Sophomore)
NCAA Championships
For the second straight year, Ihnen fell one match short of earning All-America honors at the NCAA Championships, but had a solid showing with three victories.

Ihnen opened the tournament with a dominant major decision victory over West Virginia's Matt Ryan, but fell to Big 12 foe Chris Perry from Oklahoma State by a 5-2 decision to drop into the wrestleback bracket. The Sheldon, Iowa native won his second match by major decision after taking down OU's Erich Schmidke, 10-1, and defeated Austin Trotman of Appalachian State, 8-1.

Ihnen's tournament run came to an end against the No. 1 overall seed Christopher Honeycutt from Edinboro, who defeated Ihnen, 4-3.

Big 12 Championships
Ihnen began the tournament with his third victory of the season over Oklahoma's Erich Schmidke to advance to the finals against Chris Perry from Oklahoma State.

In the finals, Ihnen couldn't hold off Perry in the sudden-victory period and gave up a takedown in a 3-1 loss. The second-place finish was Ihnen's best at the Big 12 Championships, after finishing third his redshirt freshman season.

Regular Season
Ihnen produced a strong regular season that included 24 victories and three wins over top-20 opponents. Ihnen kicked off the year with a third-place finish at the Harold Nichols Open, before winning his first five dual matches to improve to 11-1. Ihnen's first dual loss came on Dec. 4 against No. 2 Joe LeBlanc from Wyoming, dropping a 5-3 sudden-victory decision.

Ihnen had one of his best performances at the Midlands Championships where he won his first four matches, including an upset of No. 4 Grant Gambrall of Iowa in the semifinals. Ihnen wasn't able to take the Midlands title home after falling to No. 6 Travis Rutt from Wisconsin in the finals, 4-3, but responded with three victories at the Lone Star Duals in Dallas. 

Ihnen was nearly perfect in Big 12 matches going 3-1 in conference duals helping him to a 14-5 dual record. Those victories included a major-decision victory over No. 17 Erich Schmidke from Oklahoma and a technical fall victory over Iowa State's Cole Shafer to close the regular season.

2009-10 (Freshman)
NCAA Championships
Ihnen had a strong showing in his first NCAA Championship appearance, going 3-2 and falling just short of a top-eight finish.

Ihnen opened the tournament with a 7-5 loss to No. 7 Joe LeBlanc of Wyoming, but Ihnen bounced back to win three straight matches. He defeated No. 17 Mike Miller of Central Michigan, 3-1, before shutting out No. 20 Thomas Spellman of Virginia Tech, 4-0. Ihnen's rise continued with a 5-3 victory over Zac Thomusseit of Pittsburgh, before coming to an end with a 9-6 loss to No. 3 Dustin Kilgore of Kent State. A win would have put Ihnen on the All-America podium as a freshman.

Big 12 Championships
Ihnen produced a third-place finish at the Big 12 Championships with a 2-1 record.

Both of Ihnen's wins came over Erich Schmidtke of Oklahoma. In the first round, Ihnen downed the Sooner, 8-3, while coming back with a strong performance in the consolation final by shutting out Schmidtke, 4-0. Ihnen's only setback in the Big 12 Championships was a 2-1 loss to No. 3 Max Askren of Missouri.

Regular Season
Ihnen went 14-12 during the regular season with a 10-10 dual record. A starter at 184 pounds in his redshirt freshman season, Ihnen began the season 1-3 but made notable improvements to achieve a successful year.

He defeated one ranked opponent during the regular season, downing No. 17 Joe Budi of Old Dominion at the Las Vegas Invitational. Nine of Ihnen's 10 dual losses came to opponents ranked in the top 15, with eight of those by decision. After an 8-4 loss to No. 18 Sonny Yohn of Minnesota on Dec. 10, Ihnen went 8-6 the rest of the regular season. He picked up his first Big 12 win with a 5-1 decision over Erich Schmidtke of Oklahoma on Feb. 4.

Ihnen finished the regular season with one technical fall and two major decision wins.

2008-09 (Redshirt)
Regular Season
Ihnen claimed a 24-5 record during 2008-09 to post the best record among NU's non-varsity wrestlers. Ihnen had six pins, two technical falls and five major decisions.

Ihnen opened the season with a 1-2 performance at the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open on Nov. 15, but the Sheldon, Iowa, native went 23-3 the rest of the season to place at six open tournaments, including three titles.

Wrestling in the amateur division, Ihnen posted four wins to advance to the final of the Kaufman-Brand Open on Nov. 22, before settling for a second-place finish. Ihnen continued his roll with a 5-0 performance to win the Fort Hays State Open on Dec. 6. Ihnen went 4-1 to place third at the UNK Loper Open on Dec. 13, but racked up six straight victories to win the Dana and Brand opens on Jan. 3 and 17. Ihnen ended his season with a 4-1 showing and second-place finish at the Grand View Open on Jan. 31.

Before Nebraska
Ihnen was a standout performer for Coach Steve Fischer on and off the mat at Sheldon High School. Ihnen was a four-time state qualifier and set Sheldon's career wins mark with a 156-11 record. He was 93-1 his final two years, finishing first and second at the state championships in his junior and senior seasons.

In the classroom, Ihnen earned a 3.99 grade-point average and was named to the honor roll all four years. He was a member of National Honor Society and a two-time first-team selection to the academic all-state wrestling squad.

A three-sport athlete, Ihnen also earned six letters in football and track and field in high school. He was a three-year starter at linebacker, helping Sheldon to a 12-1 record his sophomore year and an appearance in the state finals. He was named to the all-district first team twice for football and was also named the Siouxland Male Athlete of the Year by the Sioux City Journal.

Ihnen was ranked No. 10 nationally at 189 pounds by InterMat.

Personal
The son of Gary and Donna Ihnen, Josh was born on Sept. 7, 1989. He has two sisters, Rachel and Elizabeth, and one brother, Jacob. A finance major, Josh was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American at Nebraska, capturing first-team honors in 2013 after claiming second-team accolades in 2012. He was also a three-time NWCA All-Academic Team selection. He was a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and earned academic All-Big Ten accolades in 2012 and 2013. A two-time first-team academic All-Big 12 selection, Ihnen earned four spots on the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll, after claiming Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll mention six times.

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