Croton-Harmon senior Alek Pavloff was caught in a difficult weight class last season that featured Eastern States champ Dan Breit of Nanuet at the top, but while others bumped up a class to avoid the All-State 220-pounder, Pavloff stayed put. He made it to the finals and took his lumps against Breit, but coming into this year, there was no question who the favorite was. Pavloff stood out above the field in Division 2 throughout the season, and then cemented his first section title with a pin of Irvington’s Adam Kreiger in the finals.
Here is Alek’s story in his words:
How did you get started with wrestling? To be honest, I started wrestling in seventh grade because I wanted to make friends. I recently moved from Seattle, Washington and I knew nobody in Croton. Now I am glad I stuck with it. I am truly blessed to meet all of these great athletes.
What is it that you love about the sport? I love the fact that I control what happens in my match. I don’t have to depend on say another teammate.
Describe what was going through your head when the referee raised your hand after the finals: “I have a lot of work to do.” That’s it really. The next day I ran for 35 minutes.
What was the most difficult obstacle that you had to overcome this season? Just being able to have a calm state of mind while in the middle in a match, thinking clearly and being alert. Also just being able to respond to adversity.
What area do you feel that you’ve improved in the most over the course of the season? I feel that my mat skills and my hip movement have improved mostly throughout my high school career.
What are you like off of the mat? I like to think of myself as an honest, hard-working person who isn’t afraid of a challenge in whatever area.
What is playing in your headphones while you get ready for a match? Higher by Creed.
What is your favorite food? Italian food.
Name one thing that’s interesting about you that people may not know about: I am kind of a nerd in some ways.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News