Hunter Meys is the king pinner of high school wrestling.
The Shenendehowa High School senior broke Steve Mocco's national record for career pins by earning a first period fall against Cathedral's Ian Morgan in their 189-pound opening round bout at Saturday's Shen Invitational.
Meys took Morgan down almost immediately after the bout began and pinned him at the 50-second mark to record his 189th career fall to surpass Mocco's total of 188 pins set in 2001 in New Jersey.
I really thought I could do it, said Meys. "At the end of last year, my coaches put it in my head that I could do it, so I went for it."
"We knew it was a goal to do it because once we taught him how not to get pinned (as a youth wrestler), he started pinning his opponents," said Shen assistant coach John Meys, Hunter's father.
Meys didn't stop with his pin against Morgan. He took down his next three opponents " in-cluding a first period fall against Whitehall's Grant Gebo in the finals " to win the 189-pound weight class and extend his con-secutive pin streak to 42.
"I'm usually focused on going for a pin," said Meys. "I'm more interested in going for back points (for a near fall) than going for the takedown."
Meys' record-setting perfor-mance highlighted a strong all-around day for the Plainsmen at the Shen Invitational. Six more Shen wrestlers reached the finals, with three " Austin Meys (171 pounds), Luke Popolizio (103) and T.J. Popolizio (119) taking home division titles.
With the national pin record out of the way, Meys said he can concentrate on winning his second consecutive state title and helping the Plainsmen win their second straight state team title in the process.
"I'm now focused on the rest of the season. Hopefully, the team should do well at states," he said.
In other wrestling action, Queensbury dominated the field at the Saratoga Invitational, while Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake won the Oneonta Tournament.
Queensbury had four individual champions and 12 top-four place finishers to take the Saratoga Tournament title with 210.5 points. Ballston Spa was second with 160.5 points, and Saratoga finished third with 115 points.
BH-BL had five individual champions on its way to taking the Oneonta Tournament title.""