Alec Hagan has been one of Ohio’s best and most consistent wrestlers this season. He is no stranger to dominance as he has been extremely successful his entire career, dating back to high school.
The redshirt sophomore has climbed up the national ranking charts this season, as he was ranked as high as No. 17 in the 149-pound weight class. This season has been the first time that Hagan has been ranked at the college level.
“Being in those national rankings is a big deal,” Hagan said. “It is good for getting bids at nationals.”
Hagan climbed up the charts through his performances at The Navy Classic and the Midlands Championships. At the Navy Classic, Hagan placed second in his weight class. In previous years, Hagan placed third and fifth in the tournament, so reaching the finals was a nice boost of confidence.
Hagan dreamt of competing at the Midlands Championship his whole life.
“Midlands was a tournament I watched growing up,” Hagan said. “A big goal of mine was placing there.”
Hagan did just that, and he placed eighth in his weight class. He finished the tournament with a 5-3 record, including five straight wins. His effort earned him a national ranking and a boosted resume.
Hagan is from Eureka, Missouri, so being far from home was a challenge for him. But when he came to Ohio, he did so with his twin brother Kyran, who is also on the wrestling team but is currently injured.
“We are both from out of state, so coming here together is what we wanted to do,” Hagan said. “Having him on the team to talk to and wrestle with him is awesome.”
The brothers often push each other to get better, and they both feed off one another. Even though Kyran is injured, he still helps Alec at becoming the best wrestler possible.
In high school, Hagan went 182-6 and won two state championships. In his senior year he got injured a few weeks before the state tournament. He managed to get healthy enough to compete, and he walked away with a state championship in his last high school bout.
“It was awesome to overcome the injury and come out of my senior year on top,” Hagan said.
It was not the only time Hagan was injured. In his freshman year, he got injured and was redshirted. He was originally in the lineup, but the injury forced him to take a year off. While he would have liked to be out there, the experience was beneficial to him.
“I feel like getting redshirted and getting a little time off and watching everyone wrestle helped me learn a lot,” Hagan said. “It definitely prepared me for the varsity level.”
While Hagan continues to make his mark on the team, his teammates cheer him on by calling him his nickname, “Alpaca.” The nickname started in high school when people started calling him “Al,” short for Alec. From there the nickname evolved into “Alpaca,” and he still uses it at Ohio.
“It’s pretty cool,” Hagan said. “It is like a little brand for myself.”
Hagan has some goals to grow that brand for himself, and he hopes to end the season with a Mid-American Conference championship and a spot on the podium at the national tournament.
Hagan is currently studying communications and marketing at Ohio, but he has hopes of working in wrestling one day.
“I want to be a college (wrestling) coach eventually,” Hagan said. “It’s about getting my resume up and hopefully get on the podium. That will better prepare me for future jobs.”
Hagan has enjoyed his success this season, and hopes that he can help deliver Ohio’s first MAC wrestling championship since 2001.