In less time than it took for A.J. Mirabal to reach the center of the mat and shake hands, his 2013 section finals match was over. The Putnam Valley standout was considered a slight favorite heading into sectionals, but was quickly stunned with a pin in the opening seconds. Rather than let that loss define him, Mirabal came into his senior season with a new focus and became of the most dominant Division 2 wrestlers in the section. He beat Nanuet’s Chris Lowery with a 9-5 decision in the 132-pound final this year, and now has his sights set on the state tournament.
Here are A.J.’s words:
How did you get started with wrestling? One of my friend’s brother introduced me to the sport in seventh grade.
What is it that you love about the sport? The fact that it is an individual sport and the overall competitiveness.
Describe what was going through your head when the referee raised your hand after the finals: Thank you God! The hard work paid off.
What was the most difficult obstacle that you had to overcome this season? Keeping my eyes on the prize and staying motivated all season.
What area do you feel that you’ve improved in the most over the course of the season? My overall mat awareness, and staying composed.
What are you like off of the mat? Ask my girlfriend
What is playing in your headphones while you get ready for a match? Pop That by French Montana.
What is your favorite food? Bacon.
Name one thing that’s interesting about you that people may not know about: I go commando when I wear my singlet.
I’ll be running these “Meet the Champs” posts everyday leading up to states. I emailed all of the section champs that I had information, but if you didn’t receive one for some reason and would like to be included, please email me at email@example.com.
Photo by Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News