Owatonna Falls to Top-Ranked Shakopee
Owatonna grabbed a quick 3-0 lead over top-seed and defending state champion Shakopee in the state wrestling tournament semifinals Thursday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul. Reality started set in shortly after that as the Sabers won the next five weights to move ahead 23-3. Shakopee won the dual 46-17.
OHS wrestles St. Michael Albertville at 5 pm in the third place match. The Huskies are the fourth seed for the event, while the Knights are the second seed and were upset by Stillwater Area in the semifinals. The Sabers and Ponies meet in the 7 pm Class AAA finals.
Cael Robb began the match with a 2-1 win over Leo Tukhlynovych, his first loss of the season. The next four Saber wrestlers are all ranked either first or second in the state in their weight class, including Blake West, who competed for Owatonna last season. Shakopee won those four plus an overtime win at 138 pounds for a 23-3 lead.
The Huskies won the next three. Jerez Autridge won 2-1 at 145 after the first two periods were scoreless. Top rated Landen Johnson surrendered an early take down at 152, then scored the next 17 points for a tech fall win. Kaden Nelson captured a 4-3 victory at 160 and the Huskies were within 23-14.
Shakopee won the next four bouts with three pins and a tech fall. Isaiah Noeldner fell behind at heavyweight against a much lighter wrestler, but scored a come from behind victory to make the final score 46-17.
The Huskies started the tournament with a 33-29 victory over Forest Lake with the teams trading the lead several times.
The individual portion of the state tournament is Friday and Saturday, February 28 and 29 with live action of the area wrestlers on AM 1390 KRFO and the KRFO app.