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Wrestling Ends Season with Two State Champions

Gable Steveson (left) and Nate Larson celebrate their state titles.

John Autey / Pioneer Press

Gable Steveson (left) and Nate Larson celebrate their state titles.

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The 2017-2018 Minnesota state wrestling tournament concluded last week, and Apple Valley High School was represented by eight wrestlers, two of whom won individual titles.

Senior Nate Larson won his first ever individual title, pinning Mitchell Wilson of St. Francis to take home the crown at 145 pounds. Larson also won two of his three early round matches by fall, as well as defeating rival Sam Webster of Shakopee by decision.

John Autey / Pioneer Press
Nate Larson pins Mitchell Wilson of St. Francis to win his first individual state championship.

Senior Gable Steveson capped off his historic high school career with his fourth consecutive individual title, easily cruising through the bracket with four pins and spending less than three minutes wrestling in the entire tournament. After completing his third perfect season in a row and notching a 212-3 high school record, Steveson’s final career win percentage was .986, a remarkable state record that may never fall. After the match, the heavyweight celebrated with a cartwheel-backflip combo and gave his shoes to a young fan. In an interview with the Star Tribune, he said, “Hopefully one of these other kids beats [my record], but this time it’s mine.”

Gable Steveson backflips after finishing his record-breaking high school career with his fourth consecutive state title.

Six other Eagle wrestlers also competed for individual titles: sophomore Regan Schrempp, juniors Adam Mickelson, Sebas Swiggum, Brady Gross, and Devin Roberts, and senior Peyton McLagan. Swiggum and Gross both finished runner-up after losing to cousins Clay and Cael Carlson, respectively, of Willmar. Schrempp made it all the way to the semifinals before losing by decision to the eventual champion, Derrick Cardinal. Schrempp then capped off a successful sophomore season with a fourth place finish. Mickelson (120) and Roberts (160) both ended sixth. McLagan’s tournament was cut short by a hard-fought, 3-0 decision loss in the first round.

Although Apple Valley’s 12-year reign as team state champions ended this year, they captured the individual tournament title. The Eagles ended the tournament with 132 points, while Anoka was a distant second with 95.5 points and Shakopee rounded out the top three with 79.5 points. Larson told the Pioneer Press, “There’s a lot of motivation for us to get these individual titles. We want to show that we’re still one of the best teams.”

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Wrestling Ends Season with Two State Champions