Donathan, Chaney Bring Home State Titles

Mason has a number of State Champions and record breakers making waves in their sport.

Junior Adam Chaney and senior Chris Donathan have each won titles at the state competitions and broken records. Chaney won state titles and broke records in the 50 and 100 freestyle in swimming, and Donathan is the 2019 State Champion and record holder in the 145 lb weight class for wrestling. 

Adam Chaney stands on the podium after winning the state championship.

Both had rigorous training ahead of them when they set out to accomplish these feats, and Chaney said that it was incredibly satisfying to see that hard work pay off.

“In the moment, you don’t even really think about it,” Chaney said. “But then, later on, you just think back, and you know that all the time I put in has just really paid off. And every time I wanted to take a break or go a bit easy, and I pushed myself, now it just all feels worth it.”

Despite this being Chaney’s first year on the team, he said his teammates have welcomed him and helped to motivate him.

“They’re all on my club team also, so it feels like I’ve been swimming with them forever,” Chaney said. “We’ve definitely come a long way, I feel just as much a part of it all as they are. They’ve been a huge support.”

Chaney said that having his name in the record book is surreal and that it makes the year ahead look even more promising.

“It’s definitely a lot of pressure,” Chaney said. “I know our whole team, we all look at times and records we want to break. And just now seeing that that’s my record, it’s pretty awesome. Like, that’s gonna be what people are aiming to beat next year.”

Donathan said that the competitive relationship he has with his brother factors into his work ethic. Zack Donathan was the 2017 State Champion for 132 lb and had previously held the record for all-time career wins before his brother broke it.

“We started warming up and my brother came and warmed up with me,”  Donathan said. “He won (a state title) two years ago. We always try to one-up each other. I beat his record for most wins, I have like 195 he had 189.”

Even after the exhaustion of a match, Donathan said he does not focus on competing against his opponents.

“I was tired, really tired,” Donathan said. “I don’t think about winning, I just think about going to tournaments.”

Donathan said that, with this being his last year, he had a lot of work he had to commit to in his pursuit of the championship.

Chris Donathan stands on the podium after winning the Division I state title.

“Match 1 I wrestled at 5 P. M., and the kid was easy; it was like 20 to 4,” Donathan said. “Then Friday I had the (second best) kid in the state. I pinned him and then I had another kid I wrestled with a couple of weeks ago, and I pinned him too. Then I was in the finals, we did our Parade of Champions and we walked out and wrestled. I just left it all on the mat; it was my last match so I had to.”

While Donathan has played at the high school level up until now, he has signed with Tiffin University to further continue his wrestling career. Although playing at the collegiate level will be a new experience, Donathan believes that his mindset will remain constant, regardless of where he is playing, even if he will be ‘redshirting’ in college, a term used to describe athletes who focus on refining their skills during their freshman year.

“I committed a couple of weeks ago, I’m redshirting, so I won’t be as serious my first year,” Donathan said. “It’s always the same mindset; Just to leave it all out there, go out and wrestle.

Photos contributed by Mason Swim/Dive and Mason Wrestling boosters.