Four Tigers Repeat
As State Champions
Kai Owen '22 exults after
winning his second State title
JESUIT PERSPECTIVES • SPRING 2020 19
BREAKTHROUGH WREST ING CAPTURES 1ST STATE
It was the most anticipated matchup
in Florida prep wrestling: Jesuit
vs. Lakeland Lake Gibson, a No. 1
vs. No. 2 showdown.
For a year, ever since the Tigers
battled the Braves down to the wire at
Lake Gibson last season – Lake Gibson
went on to win its second straight
Class 2A State Duals Championship –
this was the dual match everyone in
the wrestling world was waiting for.
and Braves didn't disappoint. The
match, with Jesuit's Kai Owen '22 securing
a major decision at 106 pounds,
10-1, giving Jesuit four points to lift the
Tigers to the historic win, 29-27.
The following day, Jesuit powered
past Palmetto Ridge 47-19 in the Semi-
St. Thomas Aquinas 71-6 in the Final
Championship in wrestling.
"It's an unreal feeling," said senior
Ethan Basile '20, who won by pin vs.
Lake Gibson and St. Thomas Aquinas.
Among many important moments
in the Lake Gibson dual were the
132-pound match between No.
1 ranked Jack Crook '22 and No.
2-ranked Alejandro Rosario of Lake
Gibson, with Crook's 15-4 major dec.
giving Jesuit an extra point.
after 11 of the 14 matches before Andre
Mortensen '20 turned it all around.
Wrestling up a weight class at 220 in a
strategic move by head coach Sal Basile,
Mortensen, who was ranked No. 6 at
195 pounds, wrestled the No. 6-ranked
220-pounder, Lake Gibson's Tristan
Middlebrook. Mortensen grinded out a
6-2 win to give Jesuit three points and
cut the margin to 27-19.
Mason Arnold '21, the No. 1-ranked
heavyweight, then won by pin in just
30 seconds. It gave Jesuit six more
set the stage for the big victory by the
No. 1-ranked Owen over No. 2 Hayden
Braden Basile '22
Tom Crook '22 at 126.
The State Duals is one of two State
Championships in Florida prep wrestling.
The other is the traditional State
Tournament. In the State Duals, teams
go head-to-head in all 14 weight classes,
with the winning team advancing. In the
State Tournament, wrestlers compete as
individuals and vie for individual District,
Region, and State titles, and how far they
advance individually determines how
may points are added to the team total.
wrestling and 23rd overall. A month later,
soccer would become Jesuit’s 24th team
turned in a
at the State
simmee, setting a
school record with
nine State Placers
top 6 in their weight class), including a
four State Champions.
The four champions equals the mark set
last season – by the same four wrestlers,
who all repeated as State Champions: Kai
Owen '22 (106 pounds),
(120), Tom Crook '22 (126), and Ethan
Basile '20 (145).
romped to victory over Lake Gibson’s
Hayden Whidden, 11-1, completing his
sophomore season with a 55-1 record.
Next up was Braden Basile (56-1), who
turned in one of the most dramatic
moments of the year. Battling Brennan
Van Hoecke from Palmetto Ridge for the
was locked in a tie late in overtime when
he suddenly threw Van Hoecke onto his
back for the pin.
Crook made it 3-for-3 for Jesuit with
a clinical display against Lake Gibson
rival Connor Williams, winning 3-1. The
victory capped a remarkable unbeaten
62-0 season for Crook. Ethan Basile’s
career was sensational. He defeated Lake
Gibson’s Evan Butler 9-1 for Jesuit’s fourth
repeat State Champion of the day and
The quartet of double champions are
the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th two-time
winners in Jesuit school history, following
Alex Enriquez '04 (2003-04) and Adam
Lewis '16 (2015-16). Owen, Braden Basile,
and Crook have the opportunity to be
Also placing for Jesuit at State were
heavyweight Mason Arnold ’21, who was
State runner-up for the 2nd straight year,
Jack Crook ’22 (3rd, 132), Sergio De-
(5th, 138), and Aidan Gingell ’20 (6th,
Jesuit wrestling captured the Duals State Championship