YOUTH WRESTLING: Spillner pins down state championships |

YOUTH WRESTLING: Spillner pins down state championships

Justus Spillner Jr. wrapped up a dominant freestyle wrestling season exactly the way he wanted to — on top of the podium with the USA Wrestling Kids Freestyle California State Championship trophy in his hands.

“It was awesome and really fun,” Spillner said. “It was really important to me. I had never got a state championship before.”

Spillner, 8, pinned his first opponent in 9 seconds, went on to win all five of his matches at the tourney and was scored on only once along the way. His toughest match came in the quarterfinals when he had to battle back from several compromising situations to pull out the victory.

Spillner, who just graduated from second grade at Union Hill, went 21-0 during the freestyle season and was scored on only three times in the 21 matches.

The state championship victory in freestyle comes just months after Spillner took second at the California USA Wrestling Kids Folkstyle State Championships.

When asked what his motivations are on the mat, Spillner said, “I just want to get better and better every match.”

Spillner said winning the state championship validates all the hard work he puts in at practice. He also credited his coaches at USA Gold, his club team, as well as coach Johnny Ray for helping him achieve his goals.

If winning a state wrestling championship wasn’t enough for one weekend, Spillner went from the state championships in Fresno on Saturday to Rio Linda on Sunday where he competed in a Capitol Quarter Midget go kart race and found his way into the winner’s circle there.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User