CENTRAL POINT — Logan Meek has never met Shane Webster but, as someone who values the grand history of the Crater wrestling program, the senior standout has longed to be like the former Comet.
Now with one more undefeated weekend of wrestling, the two will be forever intertwined as the only three-time state champions to come through the Crater program. Webster accomplished it from 1999-2001 with a career record of 160-6.
“It just feels good to be a week away from accomplishing all these goals I’ve set for my whole life,” says Meek, who stands 150-7 in his career and is mindful that the task is far from complete. “It’s one of these things I never thought I was going to be there and now we’re there and it’s almost over so it’s a weird thing but definitely exciting.”
The similarities between Webster and Meek are striking, although each went about their business in a slightly different way. Webster went unbeaten over his final two years at Crater — as Meek has done thus far — but his route was more by breaking the will of his opponents through technical falls while Meek has proven to find his niche as a finisher with pins.
“Both of them really get up for the big matches and like those tough matches,” says Crater head coach Greg Haga of the similarities. “They’re both pretty tenacious and always attacking, and they each have a huge will to win.”
Meek broke through as a sophomore to win his first state title, much like Webster did at 152 in his time. Webster went on to win titles at 160 and 171 in the kind of dominant fashion that made you feel sorry for his opponents, with takedowns at will as he did whatever he wanted on the mat. Meek has twice earned the Gregorian Award at the Reser’s Tournament of Champions as the athlete with the most pins in the least amount of time.
“I’ve watched lot of video on him because Haga always said we wrestled alike and I’ve always tried to do what he did,” says Meek, 18, of Webster. “Really just his aggressiveness and breaking people was the biggest thing for me. He was just a mean dude. It’s fun to watch him and I love to wrestle like that. It’s fun to go out and beat people up and wrestle like that.”
For someone who set out to simply win one state title before his time was through at Crater, Meek says the fact that he could join Webster at the top of the list is almost unbelievable.
“It would just be cool to be the second person to ever do it through Crater, that alone is a big inspiration for me,” says Meek. “When I was younger I really wasn’t that good until about seventh or eighth grade, that’s when I started to realize I had something. If someone told me I would become a three-time or even two-time state champion, there’s no way ... I don’t know if I would’ve believed them.”
“I think I definitely exceeded my expectations from when I was little,” he adds. “Every year I’ve learned a little bit more about myself through wrestling and have just surprised myself with what I’m able to keep doing.”
The list of Meek’s accomplishments is long and distinguished and includes four years as part of Oregon’s national team. He’s a three-time All-American at the Reno World Championships, two-time Fargo Nationals freestyle All-American and Greco All-American, two-time champion at the Reser’s TOC and so on and so on. This past year, he spent his offseason at the Iowa and Tulsa nationals before heading to Fargo and then on a cultural exchange trip to Russia.
“I think that’s the true test of guys,” says Haga. “If you’re going to be successful in anything you always need to take advantage of what can I do to do this craft better, and that’s where Logan is in wrestling. He’ll go anywhere to wrestle anyone halfway tough. He does everything you need to be successful.”
If you ask Meek, he’ll tell you wrestling is all he really does. This past year he may have taken a month’s time off from the sport he loves and has helped him secure a scholarship to Oregon State University.
“I just love to wrestle,” he insists.
And what keeps Meek coming back day after day is a quest to master something that simply can’t be mastered.
“There’s nobody in the world that knows all of wrestling,” he says. “There’s an endless spectrum of things to learn and styles and every position. Just being on the mat, whether it’s with my little brother or one of the best guys in the country, it’s just a great opportunity to always be learning, being able to feel your body position and get a feel for what’s there and when. You can never learn it all when it comes to wrestling but the more you put into it the wider of a vocabulary in wrestling you can get.”
Meek says being in Crater’s wrestling program has only served to make him appreciate the sport more each day, and hardened him for the toughest situations.
“For anybody to be good at anything you’ve got to love it and I’ve had a lot of fun here at Crater and learned to love wrestling,” he says. “Through loving it, it makes me want to work harder and be there even more. If you want something you’ve got to go for it and that’s why I spend so much extra time wrestling because this is what I want to do in life. I think that’s just the Crater mentality, just always giving it your all.”
Much like Webster’s influence, what Meek has been able to provide as an inspirational force in Crater’s wrestling room has also been vital as Crater seeks its third straight state trophy and a repeat Class 5A state championship this weekend in Portland.
“He’s one of those guys that if you get a few like him in your career you feel blessed as a coach,” says Haga. “He’s worked his way into the top echelon of guys in the nation. I look forward to his last weekend for us on the mat and then a great career for him up at Oregon State.”
There, again, he’ll have to chase Webster, who was a national champion during his stellar run at Oregon and, in 2016, was named to the Pac-12 Conference all-century team.
In the meantime, Meek is taking it one step at a time and not trying to make too much of his impending opportunity. He has bumped up to 160 — where he is seeded No. 1 despite wrestling mostly at 152 this year — to better Crater’s overall lineup and state chances.
“It’s cool and it’s fun but it’s not the end of the world if I didn’t win it,” he says of another title. “I want to do it more for bragging rights and to help my team out, that means way more to me. Another title is another title for me, but another team title would be even sweeter to be able to share that again with my teammates.”
Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.facebook.com/krishenryMT or www.twitter.com/Kris_Henry