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Ken East’s McGowan proud to win 100th match

The text message that Kurt McGowan received from his older brother, Ryan McGowan, said it all. “I’m proud of you,” it read.

Kurt McGowan, a Kenmore East sophomore, stamped his place in Bulldogs’ wrestling lore on Jan. 19 when he defeated Devin Parker of Randolph by a 12-2 score to record the 100th win of career.

Not only the youngest Ken-East grappler to ever reach 100 wins, according to all available information, McGowan is the first wrestler in Kenmore East history to reach the century mark.

Normally a stoic athlete, McGowan admitted that he got pretty emotional as his hand was raised in victory and memories of his road to 100 began to rush through his mind.

“I kinda let some emotions out with my parents,” McGowan said. “It was exciting. It was a different kind of feeling than a normal win, obviously.”

McGowan reached the historic mark during the Catt-Little Valley Tournament. Ironically, McGowan, who missed some time due to a touch of the flu, recorded win No. 99 the night before when he beat Derrick Printup of Niagara-Wheatfield at home.

Though he didn’t reach 100 in his home gym, McGowan said having his parents, Scott and Jeanette, there made it special.

Kurt said he could feel his brother, Ryan, who now lives in Virginia, rooting for him in spirit, too.

Making varsity as a seventh grader, McGowan, who wrestles at 145-pounds, has always said his main goal was to walk out of Ken-East as the program’s all-time leader in wins.

Now that he has done that and reached 100 wins, he can focus on greater goals, such as having success at sectionals and a shot at the state tournament.

”It’s a big accomplishment that I’ve gotten out of the way, so now I can focus on other things,” McGowan said.

Having nothing but respect for McGowan’s ability and dedication, Bulldogs’ coach Joe Korniczky said Kurt’s success is an example of good things come to those that work for them.

“That word is perfect for him — methodical,” Korniczky said.

With over two years remaining in his career, the sky is the limit for McGowan. But for now he’s going to savor this moment as long as he can.

“All the times I’ve gotten my hand raised,” McGowan said. “This was the hundredth time. It felt really good.”

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