Championships have become a regular part of Alec Mooradian's high school wrestling career. In each of the last three seasons, he's emerged from the 16 best wrestlers at his weight in Division 1 to stand alone atop the awards podium as an MHSAA individual title winner.
This weekend, the Detroit Catholic Central senior can claim one more of those -- and finish a feat only 15 others have accomplished in the history of the sport in this state.
Mooradian and St. Johns' Taylor Massa -- who also has won three titles over the last three seasons -- can become the 16th and 17th wrestlers in MHSAA history to finish with four individual championships. Mooradian enters the weekend with a 44-2 record this season as he targets the 152-pound title; he's 40 pounds heavier than he was when he captured his first crown. His 206 career victories also rank among the MHSAA all-time career leaders and reflect years of dedication.
“I spend a ton of time doing extra things before or after practice," Mooradian said. "Whether it's working on technique, running, or spending time in the weight room I am always trying to do something extra; trying to outwork everyone."
Mooradian, a recipient of one of this week's Second Half High 5s, began his rise to prominence by capturing the 112-pound medal in 2009 with a 2-0 win over Holts’ Ben Matthiesen. That capped his freshman year with a 48-0 record.
He followed with a 59-1 campaign in 2010, finishing the year with a 119-pound title by downing Davison’s Brandon Shuart 3-1 in the Final. A year ago, Mooradian went undefeated at 55-0 and claimed his third individual MHSAA championship, this time at 135 with a win over Jake Weissend of Flint Carman-Ainsworth.
His latest wins came on two pins and a decision as the Shamrocks again won the Division 1 championship Saturday at Battle Creek's Kellogg Arena. He also played significant roles on the 2010 championship team and last season's MHSAA runner-up.
Technique and physical training make up a big portion of Mooradian's year-round training. But he also works hard to transfer his physical preparation to the mental aspects demanded by the one-on-one nature of wrestling.
“In my mind, matches are won before setting foot on the mat,” he said. “I have always strived to be a composed wrestler. This attribute allows me to stay in every match no matter what the score is, and it keeps me free of any nerves heading into a high pressure situation. Having a chance for a fourth state title is a great opportunity, and I look forward to it.”
Report was compiled by the MHSAA's Rob Kaminski.
Shayna Hruska ♦ Iron Mountain
Junior ♦ Wrestling
With an 8-2 decision win in the 106-pound final Saturday, Hruska became the first female champion at the annual Upper Peninsula Championships, and she then was selected the event’s “Outstanding Wrestler” for going 3-0 also with pins in her first two matches of the tournament. Those victories improved her record to 18-6 this season.
Hruska began wrestling in third grade and finished fourth at 97 pounds as a freshman at the 2021 Michigan Wrestling Association Girls Championships. She then finished second at her District to reach Regionals competing in the bracket with the boys last season. She entered last week’s U.P. Championships title coming off a runner-up finish at the Escanaba Elks Invitational on Jan. 7 and the championship at 106 at Kingsford’s Ray Mariucci Wrestling Invitational on Jan. 14.
@mhsaasports 🤼♀️POW: Shayna Hruska #performanceoftheweek #wrestling #upchampionship #outstandingwrestler #congrats #meetchamp #uppower #mountaineers #ironmountain #MHSAA #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #TikTok #mistudentaid #fyp @shaynahruska ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral - WZ Beat
Follow the MHSAA on TikTok.
MHSAA.com's "Performance of the Week" features are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.
Jan. 19: Kayla Tafanelli, Warren Woods-Tower bowling - Report
Dec. 20: Brenden Paden, Riverview Gabriel Richard hockey - Report
Dec. 16: Tuff Scott, Holton bowling - Report
Dec. 9: Macey Fegan, Standish-Sterling basketball - Report
Dec. 2: Treyton Siegert, Gladwin football - Report
Nov. 24: Lily Witte, Dexter diving - Report
Nov. 17: Navea Gauthier, Shelby volleyball - Report
Nov. 10: Derek Huisman, Holland Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3: Thomas Westphal, New Baltimore Anchor Bay cross country - Report
Oct. 27: Justin Wickey, Colon football - Report
Oct. 20: Owen DeMuth, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood tennis - Report
Oct. 13: Mia Melendez, Ann Arbor Greenhills golf - Report
Oct. 6: Shawn Foster, Grand Ledge football - Report
Sept. 30: Hannah Smith, Temperance Bedford swimming - Report
Sept. 22: Helen Sachs, Holland West Ottawa cross country - Report
Sept. 15: Nina Horning, Lake Orion volleyball - Report
Sept 8: Arturo Romero, Muskegon Oakridge soccer - Report
Sept. 1: Austin King, Midland Dow tennis - Report
Aug. 25: Olivia Hemmila, Troy Athens golf - Report
(Photos courtesy of the Iron Mountain High School athletic department.)