LaSalle’s Altarac competing in elite wrestling events

It’s going to be a busy 11 days for LaSalle Institute senior Ken Altarac.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

It’s going to be a busy 11 days for LaSalle Institute senior Ken Altarac.

The two-time state champion will be competing in a pair of prestigious national events over the next two weekends, beginning with Saturday’s Wrestling USA/Cliff Keen Dream Team Classic in Stillwater, Okla., a dual meet pitting a team made up of the best in the country against an all-star team of Oklahoma seniors.

“There’s not really an offseason,” said Altarac, who has been competing at the national level in individual and dual-meet events for the last three years. “This is pretty cool, being chosen for the Oklahoma dual.

“It’s nice when you get recognized for the work you’ve put in.”

Altarac, who flew to Oklahoma Thursday, will wrestle Oklahoma 4A state champ Joey George of Blackwell High in the 285-pound bout. Three-time state champ Ian Paddock of Warsaw is the only other New Yorker on the USA Dream Team.

“I wasn’t even here when they called,” said Altarac of the inv­itation. “My dad took the call.

“They try to get the best people in each weight in the country. I don’t know anything about the guy I’m wrestling.”

Following his dual in Oklahoma, Altarac — who has yet to decide on a college — will fly home, then leave for Virginia Beach, Va., for next weekend’s National High School Coaches Association Senior Nationals. He’ll be looking for a hat trick at that event, having already won titles at the Junior and Sophmore Nationals.

Altarac was the top-ranked 285 in the country for much of the season. A pair of losses at the Eastern States tourney in January knocked him from the top spot, though he is still rated among the best in the nation.

Amateur Wrestling News, which has the most current rankings (through March 17), has Altarac eighth in the nation. Wrestling USA rates him third (as of Feb. 17).

Altarac’s offseason, such as it is, could also include a visit to check out Appalachian State, and two more top-level national events — the Junior National Duals (where he was a combined 8-1 in freestyle and Grecio-Roman in 2008) and the Junior National championships in Fargo, N.D. Both events are in July.

“I’ll probably go to the Junior Duals,” said Altarac. “I’m not sure about Fargo.”

Categories: High School Sports

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