United Community Bank Athlete of the Week: Minot High’s Gabe Mortensen
MINOT, N.D. – Years of work... for one moment.
“It was unbelievable, the whole time, I was thinking: ‘I just won state, I just won state,’” said Minot High junior Gabe Mortensen.
Gabe realized his lifelong dream on Friday, winning a Class A individual state championship at 126 lbs.
“My whole life I’ve been thinking about this moment and actually being there at that second was unbelievable,” added Gabe.
The junior pinned his way through the opening rounds of the tournament, but nobody has rolled over for Gabe.
“This last offseason he told me he’s gonna do everything he can to be a state champ,” said head coach Justin Racine.
Gabe spent his eighth-grade year on varsity and finished the year with more losses than wins.
“Even that eighth-grade year there were doubts in his head that he could be good. We knew what he could be,” added Racine.
He placed third in the state as a freshman but sat out the next year with an injury.
That’s when Gabe started to focus on his goal.
“I was usually his partner... he really worked his butt off,” said senior Victor Garcia.
With a 49-7 record this year, Gabe earned the first seed at state.
“He knows that now the target’s on his back and he’s got to put the work in the offseason because people are going to come for him,” said Racine.
Gabe defeated Wyatt Kosidowski of Fargo Davies in the final match, in a 4-2 decision.
“I know what I need to work on, I know what I need to improve on, I know what I need to do, and I’m going to do it, and I’m just going to be unstoppable,” said Gabe.
It’s back to work for Gabe, with another state championship on his mind.
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