The Shakopee wrestling team more than held its own in one of the top duals tournaments in the country.

The Sabers won four of six matches at The Clash National Duals in Rochester Jan. 7-8, finishing ninth out of 30 teams. Shakopee finished third in Bracket B on the first day of competition with a 2-1 record and then won two of three matches the next day.

The Sabers’ wins were over Huntley, Illinois (55-18); Liberty, Arizona (36-33); Hersey, Illinois (45-27) and Owatonna (53-24), while their losses were to Staley, Missouri (31-25) and Marshfield, Wisconsin (40-34).

The Sabers own a 15-3 overall duals record, including 1-0 in the South Suburban Conference, under first-year coach Alex Van Krevelen.

Shakopee, winners of the last three Class 3A state titles, is ranked No. 3 in Class 3A behind No. 1 St. Michael-Albertville and No. 2 Waconia.

The Sabers and Waconia are the only two teams ranked from Section 6AAA, so they look like they could be on a collision course come time for the postseason.

Last spring, the Minnesota State High School League reclassified sections for all sports and the Sabers were moved out of Section 2AAA and into 6AAA. Shakopee had won the last four Section 2AAA crowns.

The Sabers have won the last five SSC titles. The team’s one SSC win so far this season is against No. 9 Apple Valley back on Dec. 2.

In the latest Class 3A state individual rankings, Shakopee has six wrestlers ranked — ninth-grader Tyler Turzinski (No. 7, 106 pounds), junior AJ Smith (No. 6, 126), junior Leo Tukhlynovych (No. 3, 138), senior Riley Quern (No. 9, 152), junior Jadon Hellerud (No. 2, 195) and senior Jade Trelstad (No. 4, 220).

Meanwhile, at the national duals, Turzinski and Smith each won all six of their matches. Hellerud did not compete for the Sabers due to injury.

Shakopee faced Huntley, Liberty and Staley in bracket competition on the first day.

In the win over Liberty, Smith earned a fall at 126 pounds, which sealed the victory for the Sabers.

Matches at the national duals don’t always start at 106 pounds and go up like they do in MSHSL competitions. A flip decides what weight the match will start at and they go up to heavyweight, then back down to 106.

Quern (152), junior Timothy Lacina (170), senior Cole Sutrick (182) and Trelstad (220) also won by pin against Liberty. Turzinski won 8-3 at 106 and eighth-grader Kyler Walters won 10-3 at 113.

In beating Huntley, Shakopee had seven wins by pin. They came from Quern (152), Lacina (170), senior Luke Steinhoff (195), Turzinski (106), Walters (113), eighth-grader Calvin Miller (120) and Smith (126)

Tukhlynovych earned a 14-2 major decision at 145 pounds for the Sabers. Sophomore Jack Ferguson won 11-2 at 160, while Trelstad won by technical fall (19-3) at 220.

In the loss to Staley, Shakopee had more wins by fall (3) and only gave up one. But Staley won nine of the 14 matches.

Winning for the Sabers were Tukhlynovych at 145 (3-1), Sutrick at 182 (fall), Trelstad at 220 (fall), Turzinski at 106 (13-1) and Smith at 126 (fall).

On the second day of competition, the Sabers’ opened with a win over Hersey getting five wins by fall — Quern (152), Lacina (170), Smith (126), sophomore Connor Warren (132) and Tukhlynovych (145).

Other wins came from Steinhoff at 195 (12-6), Turzinski at 106 (17-3), Walters at 113 (16-8) and Miller at 120 (7-0).

Shakopee followed with the loss to Marshfield. That team won three of the final four matches, two by fall, to pull out the victory.

Getting pins for the Sabers were Lacina (182), Trelstad (220), Turzinski (106), Walters (113) and Smith (126). Quern won 11-1 at 152.

Wins for the Sabers against Owatonna came from Lacina at 182 (fall), sophomore Marcus Dortch-Staten at 220 (fall), Trelstad at heavyweight (fall), Turzinski at 106 (injury default), Walters at 113 (fall), Smith at 126 (fall), senior Ryder Miller at 132 (fall), Tukhlynovych at 145 (fall) and Quern at 152 (forfeit).

Tom Schardin covers sports for Savage and Prior Lake. He is dependable, sarcastic and always joking around. Tom enjoys running and swimming and is often busy coaching his two kids' sports teams.