He wanted it.
He got it.
Derik Kopp's history at the tournament now known as the Reineke Family Dealerships Holiday Wrestling Classic has been one of so close, yet so far away.
In his first three years at Columbian, Kopp claimed a second place and two third place finishes. Each third place finish came after one-point semifinal losses.
Now a senior, Kopp was determined to make the most of his final chance to climb to the top of the podium in his school's own tournament.
After winning what many called the "match of the tournament" in the finals, Kopp said the view from the top was pretty nice.
"It feels good, after four years, finally getting it. I'm happy with my win," he said after claiming the 138-pound title. "It's like I said yesterday, come in, get a big win in the morning and get myself a championship, and that's what I did."
Kopp was going to let nothing stand in the way of a title. Not even a two-point deficit in the final minute.
Sandusky's Gene Porter led Kopp 6-4 with 51 seconds left. Kopp scored an escape, then took the lead on a takedown with 25 seconds to go, only to see Porter escape to tie the match back up with 20 seconds to go.
Kopp wasn't finished, getting one last takedown with 10 seconds left to claim his much sought after title.
"He gutted it out," Columbian coach Chad Long said. "He wrestled his match until we started to go upper body. (He) gave up some takedowns, gave up a caution point. But he was able to persevere and come back through with a big win. This is his first time ever winning this tournament, so it's important. He's wrestling really solid right now.
"He's a senior, he's been wrestling his whole life. He's been in these situations. Now as a senior he has that composure about himself. He's been there and he was able to come through. He didn't panic."
Kopp wasn't the only Tornado to claim a title as Seth Williams took the 152-pound crown.
Columbian finished seventh in the team standings with 106 1/2 points, but was only one of two schools, along with Toledo St. Frances DeSales, to have multiple winners. Roman Williams (126) and Mason Correll (145) each claimed thirds to round out the Columbian placers.
Seth Williams opened his day with an 11-4 decision over Peyton Geary of Fremont Ross in the semifinals, then topped Derrick Kirkwood of Sandusky 20-7 in the finals.
"My weekend went pretty good," he said. "First day I looked pretty good then my first match today I had to get a little bit or rust off, but in my finals match I looked pretty good I thought."
"Seth's out there just doing his job, taking care of business, takedown clinic," Long added. "It got a ltitle nasty there at the end. I wish he would've had another minute, he would've teched the kid. He was getting pretty mad."
Williams also stressed the importance of winning his host tournament.
"It's definitely important," he said. "It gets my name out there. I showed people who I am, what I can do."
Another of the five local athletes to win titles Saturday, Calvert's Dan Kwiat, echoed the importance of winning a prestigious local event.
"It's definitely really cool to bring home a victory in front of all your friends," Kwiat said. "You get a little more attention so it's a little bit better. It's nice to claim your hometown."
Kwiat, who was latter recognized as the tournament's most outstanding wrestler for his efforts, pinned Elida's Nickoli Sackinger, then scored a hard-fought 6-3 decision over Zach Uram of DeSales to win the 195-pound title.
"At the beginning, it was almost a stalemate in the first period," Kwiat said of his final match. "We were pretty evenly matched from neutral, but it was just a lot of scrambling and who could be the quickest, who could get on top."
Calvert coach Keven Rinaman said matches like that are what Kwiat needs as he progresses toward his goal of a state championship.
"That was a much needed match. The kid was very strong and (Kwiat) wrestled smart," Rinaman said. "It was definitely a match we needed to help him reach his goals later on down the line. A Division I opponent, it helps prep us for the CIT tournament in January. He wrestled a very smart match, under control, was able to win on the scrambles. It worked out in the end."
The top local team finish was Upper Sandusky who scored 137 points for third.
The Ram's day was highlighted by Alex Kenner's championship at 160 pounds. Kenner fell behind early in his final, but rallied to score a 10-7 victory over Otsego's Jordan Hendrix.
"I figured out what he did wrong and capitalized on his mistakes," Kenner said. "This pushes me to go further and work harder. Beat more people and win more tournaments."
Upper Sandusky also got second place finishes from Thurston Dyer (106) and Cory Fry (170). Taran Gillen (152), Tylor Pritchard (182) and Ian Baker (220) all earned fourths and Carson Mengerink (113) finished fifth.
Ram coach Chris Rodriguez was pleased with his team's performance.
"Upper hasn't placed here too often. I think we placed here four years ago. I think it means we're heading in the right direction," he said. "Alex wrestled a great match. That kid he wrestled was a tough kid. Corey, I thought, wrestled real tough. I think all our kids that wrestled in the finals wrestled real good matches."
Frey's loss in the finals came to Mohawk's Grant Price. After a scoreless first period, Price took a 4-2 lead after two, and then held on for a 5-3 win despite being on the bottom the entire final period.
"I already picked up on some things I should've done different," Price said. "I'll work on those in the future, but the last period there was pretty tight. I gave him a point, he gave me a point, but that shows it's beginning of the year wrestling."
"I thought he wrestled real well," Mohawk coach Bud Cook added. "He attacked for six minutes which in this sport you have to do. On his feet, he kept grinding away and was able to get a couple takedowns. I think he did real well."
Rodriguez complimented both wrestlers on the final.
"Grant's a good wrestler, a great kid," he said. "Cory did everything he could, just ended up on the short end of the stick this time."
Hopewell-Loudon opened the day with three wrestlers in championship semifinals, but saw Tristan Myers (145) and Coltan Hossler (285) each drop heartbreakers. Myers was edged out in his semifinal 6-5 by Ben Fuller of Sandusky, and Hossler fell in extra time to Jalil Dalton of Fremont Ross 8-5.
Chieftain coach Travis Traxler said an early season tournament like this one is the best time for matches like that to happen, and praised the efforts of his team for fighting back in consolation matches.
"We lost some really tight matches. Now's the perfect time to face those scenarios so we can get better for the future," he said. "We got to get ready for sectionals and districts right now, and those are great matches to get ready for them.
"I'm really happy with their effort. We're taking these young guys and trying to transform them into some fighters. We did a great job battling through the consolation bracket."
Damion Vitt (120) was the third Chieftain to fall out of the championship round losing by pin to Oregon Clay's Colixtro Mondragon, but rallied to score a 9-2 decision over Sergio Garcia to end third.
"For most of my guys, the case of winning and losing comes down to confidence," Traxler said. "Confidence in our training, and our training being able to work for us when we compete. Damion winning matches, it's great for a confidence booster moving forward."
Hossler and Myers joined teammates Chet Swartzmiller (106) and Zac Hrabak (160) as fourth place winners.
Sandusky edged Fremont Ross 151-140 for the team title. Upper Sandusky, Clay (128) and DeSales (117) rounded out the top five.