Life has a funny way of throwing you curveballs.
Marietta senior wrestler Justin Hasley knows all about that.
Suffering injuries during each of his first three years of high school wrestling, Hasley lost more time to the injury bug than many athletes get on the mat for their career.
But despite all those injuries and the effect they've had on his career, they have yet to make Hasley anything less than a dominant grappler.
With a first place finish in the Cambridge Invitational on Dec. 3, Hasley picked up his 100th varsity victory when he recorded a 29 second pin in the finals.
"I just feel really accomplished. I worked really hard to get here," Hasley said of his 100th win.
Hasley becomes the first Tiger wrestler since T.J. Shaw surpassed the milestone during the 2004-05 season.
As a freshman, Hasley compiled a 28-8 record before going 26-0 as a sophomore. Last year as a junior he was 41-12 against a fierce schedule. Of the 12 losses Hasley suffered a year ago one was to a state champion in West Virginia and three more were to state placers in Ohio.
So far this season, Hasley is 5-0 and well on his way to cementing his name as one of Marietta's great wrestlers.
"We've got three state placers in the history of Marietta wrestling and he's destined to be the fourth," said Marietta wrestling coach Jeff Walker.
All the injuries have cost Hasley an estimated 40 to 50 wins, delaying his progression towards the coveted 100-win plateau.
The injuries even had Hasley questioning if he would reach the goal of 100 wins.
"It seemed far-fetched, but now that I'm actually here I hope to go further," Hasley said.
Wrestling for 12 years, Hasley has grown from a timid young child to one of Ohio's best.
But even the early years weren't necessarily the emphatic triumphs that Hasley has now. In fact, it wasn't until his third season of wrestling that he really began to believe he had a future in the sport.
"When I first started out everything seemed so rocky. I didn't even know if it was for me," Hasley said.
Turns out, wrestling was most definitely for Hasley.
Hasley now holds a 100-20 record, which translates out to an 83 percent winning percentage.
While he has gotten plenty of wins, Hasley has done so against some of the best wrestlers around as Walker has gone after the toughest tournaments he can possibly get the Tigers invited to.
That philosophy suits his wrestlers like Hasley just fine.
"You're not going to get any better going to Joe Blow tournaments," Hasley said. "You've got to beat the best to be the best."
Marietta's first tournament of the season proved to be exactly one of those challenges.
Hasley entered the tournament with his milestone just on the horizon, but with the Ohio High School Athletic Association mandating that wrestlers are permitted no more than five matches in a single day of competition he knew he had to be perfect.
"I was at 95 wins going into the tournament," Hasley said. "I don't want to come out 4-1 and be at 99."
His performance assured that Hasley wouldn't stop on 99, and now he is on the same page with great Marietta wrestlers like Bill Heldman, an assistant coach with Walker and one of Hasley's mentors.
And for a young kid like Hasley, being mentioned in the same sentence with his coach is something that far exceeds the imagination.
"It's really, like, some kind of surreal. I look up to Bill a lot," Hasley said. "It's almost hard to believe."
Once the 2011-12 season comes to a close, Hasley hopes to be up around 130 to 140 wins and ink his name as one of the handful of Marietta Tigers to place at the state tournament.
But even then Hasley doesn't plan on letting his wrestling career end. Hasley hopes to pursue wrestling in college before one day joining Walker and Heldman in the ranks of wrestling coaches.
"I would definitely like to continue with wrestling in my future," Hasley said. "I'd still like to come in and help the kids."