For someone who doesn't think of himself as a natural athlete, Hunter Meys certainly acts like one on the wrestling mat.
The Shenendehowa High School senior often makes quick work of his opponents, rarely letting a match go beyond the first round before recording a pin. That tactic has led to nearly 230 career victories and nearly that many pins, a national high school record.
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."
"That's his style " he wants to get a match over quickly," said Shen wrestling coach Rob Weeks.
Meys' record-setting pin at the Shen Invitational Jan. 5 was a prime example of his wrestling style. A split second after the opening whistle, Meys took down his opponent " Ian Morgan of Cathedral in Springfield, Mass. " with an ankle pick. Morgan dragged himself out of bounds to prevent Meys from getting the pin on the initial move, but on the restart, Meys turned Morgan on his back. Within 50 seconds of the opening whistle, Meys had his 189th career fall to pass Steve Mocco of Blair Academy, N.J., who set the national record in 2001.
"I wouldn't say it has soaked in," said Meys following his historic pin. "I've been very fortunate to wrestle with coaches who can help me accomplish this."
Wrestling wasn't Meys' first sport. In fact, there was a point when he was younger that he wasn't involved in any sports.
"I'm not really naturally gifted (as an athlete)," said Meys, who will be wrestling for NCAA Division I Boston University on a full scholarship next year. "When I was younger, I tried a couple of sports, and I wasn't very good at it. So, I stopped for a couple of years. Then for Christmas in third grade, I gave my dad a gift by trying wrestling, and I found that I liked it."