(Indianapolis, IN) - Four LaPorte County high school wrestlers qualified for the IHSAA state tournament in Indianapolis this weekend. Half of them returned home champions.
Three New Prairie grapplers competed at state. 120-pounder Jayden Lewis showed well for a freshman but did not make it past Friday night’s opening round. 285-pound senior Hunter Whitenack advanced to Saturday’s round and finished the tournament in 7th place, ending his final high school season with a 29-2 record.
Christian Carroll brought home New Prairie’s first-ever state wrestling title. The junior went into the tournament a heavy favorite as the top-ranked 220-pound wrestler in the nation. Carroll defeated unbeaten Nate Critchfield of Evansville Mater Dei to advance to the finals. There he faced good friend and training partner Juan Grange of Penn. The two also met in last week’s semistate. Carroll prevailed again Saturday night, winning 6-2.
LaPorte junior Ashton Jackson (pictured) brought home his second state wrestling title, winning the 113-pound class. Jackson’s path to the championship included a semifinal match with Cathedral’s Evan Dickey, the wrestler Jackson defeated in last year’s 106-pound finals. In Saturday’s championship, Jackson outlasted Brownsburg’s Preston Haines in a narrow 1-0 victory.
Both Jackson (50-0) and Carroll (22-0) finished their seasons undefeated.