In his first two years of high school wrestling, Alec Segarra was undersized.
For the first time, the Hill City High School junior had to work to make his weight each time out for the Ringneck wrestling team.
The 106-pounder is reaping the benefits of his last two years’ experience heading into this weekend’s Class 3-2-1A state finale at Gross Memorial Coliseum in Hays.
“He’s pretty damn good,” Hill City head coach Steve Nickelson said of Segarra, one of two qualifiers the Ringnecks bring to GMC for the weekend finale. “He did a bunch of offseason stuff, went and wrestled freestyle, went to a lot of camps.”
All the work the junior put in has Segarra sitting 38-1 as the No. 2 ranked wrestler at 106 pounds. This coming after he was just 14-13 a year ago and went 0-2 in the 3-2-1A finale in his first appearance.
However, Segarra was wrestling at right around 100 pounds, the first time in his career he had broken the century weight mark. His freshman season, he was only 90 pounds wrestling at 106.
“This year was the first time he had to lose to make 106,” Nickelson said.
Segarra, Nickelson said, is quick on his feet and can wrestle with anyone when both are up. The lone loss came at the hands of Bishop Murray, the No. 3 ranked 106-pound freshman from Washburn Rural in Class 6A. It was a close match until Segarra suffered a late pin.
However, the Hill City junior has yet to face the likes of 3-2-1A top-ranked Kendall Beitz, a junior from Eureka.
“Hopefully we can make it to finals,” Nickelson said.
Segarra is joined by senior teammate Gabe Hamel, who is 21-12 at 145 pounds. Hamel is at state for the third time in his career after going 2-2 last season.
“I hope we can get a medal,” Nickelson said of Hamel’s chances, though he’s on the same side of the bracket as Riverside senior Scott Resler (42-0). On the other side of the bracket is Hoxie unbeaten junior Dayton Porsch, a two-time defending state champion.
“After Porsch, a lot of kids are about even,” Nickelson said.