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Members of the La Grande Mat Club pose with coaches after finishing in second place at the USA Wrestling’s kids state championships Saturday in Newberg.
Paustian, Robinson claim state titles while leading team to second-place finish
NEWBERG — The La Grande Mat Club finished in second place in the novice division at the USA Wrestling kids state championships Saturday in Newberg.
Logan Paustian and Parker Robinson both earned state titles, while the team had 12 wrestlers place in the top-six individually.
“It is believed this is the largest number of state placers in La Grande Mat Club history,” head coach Geoff Robinson said.
The tournament was highlighted by Paustian’s and Parker Robinson’s performances, as the two became the first state champions from La Grande in recent years, according to their coach.
Paustian took first place in the 85-pound novice division. He pinned and tech-falled his way to the finals for a showdown with Glide’s Zach Holland.
Holland is a two-time Oregon state champion. This was Paustian’s first trip to the finals despite a deep run in 2012.
Paustian and Holland wrestled for three rounds before going to overtime.
“The battle from their feet ensued with Logan refusing to give in,” Robinson said.
The whistle sounded with Paustian ahead 5-3 to earn the state title.
Later in the day, Parker Robinson earned LGMC’s second state championship of the day, beating out the competition in the 90-pound novice division.
He faced off with Travis Sherman of Salem in the championship match.
This was the second time this season that the two wrestlers have squared off in the finals of a tournament.
The match would end with Robinson as the 7-0 victor, becoming La Grande’s second state champion of the day.
Other noteworthy finishes of the tournament include a battle between La Grande’s Alex Kehr and Colby Evans of Pendleton. Kehr fought through a 28-wrestler bracket to arrive in the finals with a chance to win LGMC’s third state championship of the day.
Kehr came up just short, however, losing 5-3.
“He wrestled very well all day,” assistant coach Jason Kehr said.
“Maybe not today, but he’ll win a state championship (some day),” Coach Robinson said.
In the Bantam division, Bryson Penaloza finished in third place at 55 pounds. Kai Carson earned sixth place at 45 pounds.
The intermediate division had three other state placers besides Kehr.
Cole Jorgensen took fourth at 87 pounds, Ryan Stubblefield finished sixth at 70 pounds and Kayden Dutcher earned sixth place at 80 pounds.
The novice division saw four other placers beyond the two state champions. Nathan Reed won third place at 105 pounds, Christopher Woodworth took third place at 90 pounds, Blaine Shaw took fourth at 80 pounds and Justin Frederick earned a fourth-place finish at 65 pounds.