Northeast Florida Pacesetter

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Fletcher senior Narek Stepanyan is the Northeast Florida Pacesetter for the week of January 23-28 (Photo submitted by David Harrison).

Northeast Florida Pacesetter

Name: Narek Stepanyan
School, grade & weight class: Fletcher, senior, 195.
Last Matmen ranking: #2 at 195.
Accomplishments this week: Stepanyan followed up on his second Gateway Conference individual title with a victory at the 31st annual Flagler Rotary Invitational in Palm Coast, decisioning Matmen #1 Ryan Smenda of Fleming Island, 3-1 in overtime, for the championship.
Favorite food: Sushi.
Favorite restaurant: Any Japanese restaurant.
Favorite TV show: Friends.
Favorite movie: Avatar.
Favorite subject in school: Chemistry.
Favorite college/university: Ohio State University.
Favorite wrestler: Zain Retherford.
Favorite athlete (non-wrestler): Rich Froning.
Best tournament/dual experience: Fletcher winning (Gateway) conference.
Favorite thing about wrestling: “That you control your destiny, and the mental battles.”
Least favorite thing about wrestling: Cutting weight.
When I’m not wrestling, I am most likely… : Lifting.
Coach David Harrison on Stepanyan: “We hold Meat Grinder sessions, where we put wrestlers in groups of four or five, and one (the meat) wrestles everyone (the grinder) before they can get out. Narek went into the middle first, wrestled everyone for 10-15 minutes and rotated out. Most kids are so exhausted all they can do is lay on the edge of the mat and pant. After Narek completed his rotation, he stood at the edge of the group and did level changes until it was his turn to grind the next wrestler. Another one of our wrestlers said `He’s crazy,’ and I said, `That’s why he’s going to be a state placer.’ He compels everyone else in the room, including his coaches, to work harder.”
Parents: Stepan Stepanyan & Lusine Aghasaryan, Jacksonville.

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I covered wrestling for 15 years up north and "retired" in 2011. But as I thought I had in 1992, I couldn't stay away. Started Northeast Florida Matmen in 2013, Northwest Florida Matmen in 2015. New initiative this year is to create a space on my sites where ALL Florida results can be stored, searched, reviewed and used by my readers, with NO COST TO THEM.

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