PORTLAND — Kaden Kuenzi wasn’t an unknown coming into the OSAA Class 5A state wrestling tournament, but when Silverton High School’s freshman won the state championship Saturday night, it was still a stunning accomplishment.
Kuenzi pinned Redmond sophomore Landon Robinson in 2:56 to win the 5A state championship at 106 pounds at the Memorial Coliseum.
He took down Robinson seconds into the match, let him up, took him down again, turned him for a near fall and had a huge 7-1 point lead.
The No. 4 seed for the tournament understood the immediacy of the situation.
“In my head I want to go out there and put points on the board and whatever happens at the end happens,” Kuenzi said. “I just knew if I put pressure on him I’m going to break him.”
Kuenzi understood the significance of his accomplishment.
He became the second wrestler from Silverton to win a state championship in as many years and the first freshman from the school to win a state championship in decades.
“Grinding out practices every day, just wanting to be the best in the state, working out with my great partner Jacob Whitehead, he really pushed me and so did my coaches to get to where I am now,” Kuenzi said.
Whitehead, a junior, lost a 10-0 major decision to Mountain View’s Beau Olsen in the 113 pound final.
Also placing for Silverton was Robert Guenther (sixth at 120). And Madison Shockley placed third at girls exhibition 113 pound class.
Placing for Dallas were Ryan Bibler (fourth at 106), Dawson Barcroft (fifth at 113), Jacob Jones (third at 126), Joseph Foster (sixth at 126) and Joseph English (sixth at 138).
For Central, Noah Worthington (sixth at 106), Sam Crow (fourth at 195) and Caleb Sedlacek (sixth at 285).
For Woodburn, Giovanni Bravo placed fourth at 138, Rafael Vasquez placed fourth at 145 and Karson Christiansen placed third at 170.
In the 6A state meet, Sprague sophomore Daniel McClung lost a heartbreaking 7-4 decision to Lakeridge’s Quinn Brink in the 6A 120 pound state championship match.
McClung, the No. 1 seed in the bracket, took Brink down in the opening seconds of the match and scored a quick near fall, but Brink came back with a reversal and scored a takedown in the second period to win.
Also placing for Sprague were Bollong Joklur (fourth at 106), Evan Spragg (fourth at 126), Michael Murphy (third at 138), Landon Davis (sixth at 152), Dane McKinney (fifth at 160), Spencer Nofziger (sixth at 170) and Tanner Sorensen (fifth at 220).
West Salem’s Luke Ferschweiler placed fifth at 106 and Brenton Reddy was fifth at 182. North Salem’s Brandon Quezada was third at 113. McNary’s Enrique Vincent was third at 120.
South Salem senior Abigail Whitney placed second in the exhibition girls 132 pound weight class, losing to Central Linn’s Sarah Conner by a pin in 5:02.