FEATURE: Haste to History

Grayson Hagen reaches 100-win milestone in record time
Crossing the mat, junior Grayson Hagen prepares to shake hands with his opponent from Lawrence High before his wrestling match during the City Showdown on Jan 24.
Crossing the mat, junior Grayson Hagen prepares to shake hands with his opponent from Lawrence High before his wrestling match during the City Showdown on Jan 24.
Mallory Thompson

On Jan. 20, Junior Grayson Hagen recorded his 100th win as a Free State wrestler. Hagen joins only five previous firebirds to accomplish this impressive feat. Three of those wrestlers, Matthew Marcum, Eric Streeter and Nolan Bradley, achieved this mark last year, allowing Hagen to learn and be the successor to their legacy.

“It means a lot to join that list,” Hagen said. “I learned so much from those guys last year about work ethic and mentally preparing for each match. I’ve wrestled for a long time and it’s been great to be able to do it for Free State and join the high level that those guys competed at.”

Each one of those 100-win wrestlers has continued their careers after high school and Hagen strives to join them at the college level.

“All of the former 100-win guys have gone to wrestle in college,” Hagen said. “That is something I have always desired to do after high school and is one of my top goals.”

Not only has he joined a difficult milestone mark, but he was the fastest to ever do it. Hagen’s hard work and dedication to his craft led him to this point, but he attributes his success to his coaching staff.

“The coaches have always pushed me hard,” Hagen said. “They push us in practice and have a good game plan ready for us. They always look to get the best out of me.”

Hagen began going all in with wrestling during his 8th-grade year. He used the summer leading into his freshman year to grow his skillset and prepare for Free State wrestling. He became committed to the sport and wrestled year-round. Along with that, he works closely with his brother Brogan to build his skills and mentor his younger counterpart.

“We’ve wrestled most of our lives together,” freshman Brogan Hagen said. “We have wrestling mats in our basement where we practice and compete against each other. He’s taught me multiple moves over the years and coached me throughout tough matches.”

With the opportunity to place his name in other records, Hagen has aspirations to accomplish a few more feats in his time as a Firebird.

“Being a two-time state placer has been my biggest achievement along with 100 wins, but I am still hungry for more,” Hagen said. “I’m looking to be the second ever four-time state placer in Free State history, become a state champion, and reach 100 pins.”

As the state tournament approaches, all eyes will be on Hagen as he competes for his first state championship.

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