Given that the Illinois high school wrestling championships date back to 80 years, Austin O’Connor from St. Rita’s (Chicago) has joined an exclusive club.
O’Connor beat Providence’s Cole Smith 20-7 in the Class 3A 152-pound final to becomes the 15th- four-time state champion, according to The Chicago Tribune.
O’Connor, a North Carolina signee, was 46-0 this season and 181-4 in his high school career.
According to The Tribune, the St. Rita fans chanted his name as the final moments ticked off.
“I was definitely able to enjoy it,” O’Connor said. “That’s one of the things I needed to tell myself as this season was winding down. Usually — especially last year — going into the finals match I was super-focused.
“But I was going in and putting too much pressure on myself. So this year, I wanted to go out and have more fun.”