You know you’re dedicated heart and soul to a chosen sport when you’re willing to endure a 22-hour bus ride (one way!) for one event.
Chase Gallik of Hawley is just such an athlete.
A smiling, affable, energetic young man who loves wrestling in all its myriad manifestations, Gallik just recently returned from an epic journey.
“I went to North Dakota for nationals,”?he said with a big smile. “It was a lot of fun, but it was a really, really long trip...”
That may be the understatement of the year. The busride from northeastern PA to Fargo lasted a mind-numbing 22 hours. Once there, Chase rubbed the sleep from his eyes and went to work.
On the Path
Chase is in his 4th year as a member of the Northeast Vipers, a competitive club based in Honesdale which features training in Greco-Roman and freestyle.
The Vipers traveled to Benton for a district qualifier in late March where Gallik earned a pair of second place finishes.
From there, he moved on to the state meet at Central Mountain High School and visited the dais twice more. Chase ended up second in Greco-Roman with a 4-1 record and third in freestyle at 4-2.
Each of these efforts was enough to secure an invitation to the national tournament, which was held at the Fargo Dome.
According to Chase, there were about 1,400 wrestlers in attendance from all over the country. At the height of this year’s event, fans were watching action on 23 different mats.
“The busride definitely wasn’t a lot of fun, but the tournament was amazing,”?Gallik said. “It was just a great experience.”
Gallik once again wrestled at 113 lbs. in the Cadet Division. Chase won his first bout in the Greco-Roman bracket, but then suffered back-to-back losses and was eliminated.
“The competition was really tough,”?he said. “I?didn’t do very well in Greco, but I?was pretty good in the freestyle...”
Another understatement by this modest, but gifted young grappler.
Gallik opened his gold medal quest by posting a win over a returning national placewinner. He followed that up with wins over wrestlers from Wash-ington and Oregon before finally falling.
Honesdale varsity coach Ryan Chulada, one of the Northeast Vipers founding members, was glowing in his praise for Gallik.
“Hey, Chase is absolutely the real deal,”?he said. “Any time a kid goes to a national event and wins matches ...well, that’s just an amazing accomplishment.”
Gallik dominated the competition during a brilliant junior high career at Paupack.
Last winter, he moved up to the varsity ranks and didn’t miss a beat. Under the direction of Coach Steve Krushnowski, Chase went 32-7 and advanced to the regional tourney.
Page 2 of 2 - Chase Gallik is the son of Brian & Allison Gallik, Hawley. He’s headed into his sophomore year at Wallenpaupack Area where he is currently ranked #1 in his class.