Shane Zajac

Class of 2017

Lincoln Way | Oregon State | University of Oklahoma

Shane Zajac and younger brother Slade began wrestling together in 5th grade. Though they were a year apart in age, their parents Greg and Babette wanted to keep the brothers together in school. As seniors at Lincoln-Way high school they would combine for a 77-1 record while wrestling for IWCOA Hall of Fame coach Mark Ruettiger.

In 1995 and 1996 his junior and senior years at Lincoln-Way High School in New Lenox, Shane won the IHSA state wrestling championships, going undefeated to defend his championship in the 189-pound class.

By the U.S.A. Wrestling Championships held in Fargo, N.D., in early July, he had bulked up and prevailed in the 220-pound class in Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling.

Those two National championships, combined with a third-place finish in freestyle the previous year, have given Zajac three All-American high school wrestling titles.

While Shane was winning a national title, his younger brother, Slade, also was competing in the tournament, hanging in there for three rounds in the Greco-Roman and freestyle matches.

The brothers tradition of togetherness would continue the next year, when Shane and Slade would attend Oregon State on a scholarship.

Shane would go on to represent the United States in the Junior World Championships at 198 pounds. He would later transfer and wrestle heavyweight for the University of Oklahoma and he would win the 1997 Espoir Nationals in freestyle.