It came down to the wire, but Georgetown-Ipswich wrestling senior captain Mike Gallanar reached a personal milestone: securing his 100th win in one of his final matches of his career.
“We had a feeling it would be close if (Mike) wrestled to his potential, and he did,” Royals-Tigers head coach Ryan Archambault said. “He went in to the Division 3 North Sectionals Tournament with 97 wins and he got his three more.”
It’s an achievement Gallanar (30-13) didn’t talk about, nor was it something discussed in the locker room or by coaches. In fact, Gallanar’s parents wouldn’t even discuss it. It was, however, on his mind and was a source of motivation for finishing his high school career out strong.
“It felt really good to get that accomplishment,” Gallanar said. “It’s a landmark for my career as a wrestler. It put a lot of pressure on me but I tried not to think about it too much. When I got it, I wasn’t thinking about just my 100th win but instead my entire career as a wrestler and how it was coming to an end and I got emotional.”
His milestone victory came against an opponent that he had already faced this season: Jack Wagner, the 145-pound wrestler from Tyngsborough.
“It was a match where he was in control the entire time,” Archambault said. “It was for fifth place and he pinned him in the second period. He broke down into tears which was good to see. He’s a very cool kid and he never shows huge peaks and valleys. He’s very consistent emotionally so to see him break down was pretty neat.”
Upon leaving Danvers High School after the tournament concluded this past Saturday, Gallanar believed that his high school career was over. A fifth place finish at sectionals wasn’t enough to secure a spot in the State Finals, and Gallanar was instead set as an alternate.
What he didn’t know was that just days later, a State Finalist would drop out and he would be included in the competition.
“It means a lot to have the opportunity to go back and wrestle again,” Gallanar said. “I was pretty disappointed to not make it to States and not finish in the top-four at sectionals, so I was blessed with the opportunity to wrestle again.”
Gallanar keeping his thoughts on achieving 100 wins and the pressure that came alongside it internal is not uncommon for the senior captain. In his four seasons wrestling for the varsity, Gallanar was a quiet leader who exhibited a model for how to act on and off of the mat.
“It’s his work ethic,” Archambault said. “As a four-year starter it’s just about him showing up day in and day out. He’s the only one on our team who hasn’t gotten pinned this year, which was big for us. He wrestled in the 145-pound weight class which was seriously competitive, so my hat is off to him there.”
When it comes to his success, Gallanar is quick to thank those who have helped him along the way.
“I credit my parents for my success,” he said. “Also, coaches like Coach Arch and Coach Curley, who was my coach for the previous three seasons. Also, Charlie Galanis was my drilling partner and really helped me get here.”