The first time Dominic Inzana made his way up the two short flights of stairs at Saratoga Springs High School and entered the wrestling room as a seventh-grader, his eyes were drawn to a list on the wall of the program’s best athletes.
“There are a lot of really good wrestlers on our wall,” the now 11th-grader said of the charts showing the history of the program. “To be at the top of that list for [career] wins is special. It’s something I’ve worked hard for.”
Inzana broke Chris Bolduc’s mark of 158 varsity wins last weekend when he pinned Mohonasen’s Dominic Pelletier in the first period of their 126-pound bout in the Blue Streaks’ first match at the two-day Lansingburgh Duals.
“It was great, especially as a junior,” said Inzana, who should reach 200 wins next season. “I’ve got another whole season to keep it going, and hopefully inspire someone to come up and break the record again.”
Inzana would have liked the record to come in a home contest, but was more than happy when his hand was raised in victory for the 159th time.
“It didn’t matter. I tied the record at home, and we kind of celebrated,” said Inzana, who had been made aware he was closing in on the big number by varsity coach Kris West a few weeks ago. “When I was like 15 or so wins away, coach told me I was going to break the record pretty soon.”
“He’s been a big part of our lineup since he started wrestling varsity as a seventh-grader,” said West, who won a Section II title during his career at Saratoga. ‘He’s one of the leaders on the team now, and the kids follow his direction. Hopefully, that will get some other kids working more in the offseason, and maybe get more kids attracted to the sport.”
Inzana’s first goal was to get on that wall in the wrestling room.
“In seventh grade, I was thinking about getting up there on that board for the 30-win club,” he said. “Then I got 40 wins, and now I’ve got the record.”
“Thirty wins are a little easier to get to now, because we wrestle more matches and more dual-meet tournaments,” West said. “But any time you get 30 or 40 wins in a season, or get to 100 wins, it’s special. You’ve been a consistent winner, and put in the time.”
Inzana went 17-6 as a seventh-grader, and finished second in the section the next year, qualifying for an at-large berth to the state tournament, and finishing the season with 36 wins, He followed that with a 44-win freshman year and another trip to the state tournament.
“The first time was a get-the-experience-of-being-there type of thing,” said West. “You’re kind of in awe the first time, especially when you’re that young. The second time, he was one win away from placing. It was a match he probably should have won. He was winning that match, and got pinned with 30 seconds left in the match. It showed him what he had to do get back there.”
“The first time it was weird, with the huge arena and everything, a lot of fans,” said Inzana. “I didn’t really know what to expect. The second year, I was beating the kid the whole match and lost in the last few seconds.
“Everybody at states is very good, so I think whoever is in the best shape and has a little luck can do it.”
A balky shoulder forced Inzana to settle for fourth place in the state qualifier last year.
“I had to default, and it was not a good feeling. It seemed like a lot of hard work for nothing,” said Inzana, 32-3 this season. “When it really counts is at the end of the season, you’re trying to go to states and can’t physically do it.
“I’ve been doing a lot of physical therapy to get my body in top shape come Class A’s and sectionals so I don’t have the same thing happen as last year.”
West sees good things ahead for Inzana, who already owns the school record for pins.
“He has good fundamentals, works hard in practice, does the extra things in the offseason to get better,” West said. “That makes him one of the better wrestlers in the area.”
With two postseasons remaining to accomplish his goals of winning Section II and state titles, Inzana can further cement his spot among the Mulligans, Wilseys and Arpeys in the program’s elite.
“It’s cool that I can come back after I graduate and see my name up there,” he said.