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KCChronicle.com/preps Athlete of the Week: Marmion senior wrestler Johnny Jimenez

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 5:30 a.m. CST

Why he was selected: Won his fourth straight IHSA wrestling state championship on Saturday

Marmion senior Johnny Jimenez made it a state four-peat Saturday in Champaign, defeating Glenbard North's Jon Marmolej in the 126-pound weight class for his fourth straight state title. The St. Charles resident is this week's Kane County Chronicle-St. Charles Bank & Trust Athlete of the Week, and he spoke with Chronicle sports editor Jay Schwab about his latest conquest, and the quick turnaround to the state dual postseason that begins this week. The following is an edited transcript:

If you had to estimate how many congratulatory texts you received between Saturday night and Sunday, what would it be?

Quite a few – actually I opened up my phone, I had, like, too many. I think I had over 100 notifications and text messages, all just from friends and family. It was a lot. I didn't even reply to everyone because I didn't have a chance to go through every single one of them, so that was a cool thing.

As far as the championship match, in terms of how you wrestled, would you say it was a typical performance from you, or any sharper, not as sharp?

Actually no, definitely not this year. I was actually more nervous than I ever have been because there was so much pressure on my shoulders. I was really nervous coming into the match and through the match, so I feel I really wrestled not my best, but just enough to get through. It was pretty hard with everything that was going on.

Is it challenging to make that mental transition now beyond Saturday to the team side of it?

At first it was a little, but now I'm kind of coming down from knowing you are a four-time state champion and everything but we just [had a practice Monday], and I'm kind of back in the mood of things and working out with the team for the team state championship, so it's back to normal workouts now.

If you had to pick one teammate to help you out with some tricky homework, who would it be, and why?

It would probably have to be Albert Rechenmacher. He switches off from wrestling team to math team competition-wise, so anything that has to do with homework … we would turn to Albert because he is one of smartest kids in school, and he's only a sophomore. He's probably going to end up at Harvard or something.

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