A pair of Abington Heights wrestlers, brothers Logan and Owen Hivner, competed at the 2014 Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling State Championship, March 1 and 2 at the Hempfield High School Fieldhouse in Greensboro, Pa., just outside of Pittsburgh.
Logan, a freshman, was the only wrestler from the Lackawanna League to advance to states in his weight class of 187 pounds.
Logan placed fourth in the state tournament. He won his first match before falling to the consolation bracket, where he won four matches before being defeated in the third-place match.
He credits increased practice time for his success, specifically in the postseason.
“I’ve been putting in double sessions and coach (Jason) Ratchford has been helping me out with all kinds of moves,” he said. “We practiced until 10 p.m. some nights. He’s showed me a lot of throws that most kids don’t know and I think it gives me an edge.”
Owen, an eighth-grader, was one of two wrestlers from Lackawanna County to advance to the state meet in his weight class of 140 pounds.
After a bye, Owen lost his first match to move into the consolation bracket where he picked up an overtime win before being eliminated.
He believes his training sets him apart from many other athletes in his age group.
“It’s my ninth year wrestling, and I just have a passion for the sport,” Owen said. “I train in the off-season, when most kids aren’t training and I put in double sessions mostly every night. I love it.”
He added that the captains make sure everyone in the room is working hard at all times.
“They have helped with our conditioning,” Owen said. “Logan is one of our captains and pushes us during practice and makes it harder for all of us. Even when kids are slacking, he brings them up.”