Apple Valley’s Gable Steveson chasing uncharted greatness

Gable Steveson has won 167 consecutive matches, and another victory lap at the high school wrestling state tournament would leave the Apple Valley star with the highest winning percentage in prep history before he takes his heavyweight prowess to the University of Minnesota.

Some clashes were memorable, like his viral takedown of Daniel Kerkvliet, who like Steveson is ranked No. 1 in his weight class nationally, during a Feb. 2 dual meet with Simley. Most are a blur. But Steveson has never forgotten his only high school loss to Justin Cumberbatch of Alexander, Minn., in the 2014 state tournament final.

He was ranked No. 1 in the state, Cumberbatch No. 2. Steveson recalled granular details of that pivotal moment at Xcel Energy Center when teammate Jamal Tidwell lit a competitive fire in him that burns intensely.

“I remember sitting down on the mat in the back of Xcel and was like, ‘whatever,’ ” Steveson recalled. “Tid came up to me and said, ‘You just lost!’ ” I was like, ‘Yeah, I noticed.’ I also told him it’s not going to happen again — ever. It hasn’t happened again.” Continue reading at www.twincities.com

Apple Valley Wrestler Knows A Thing Or Two About Pushing Through Hardship

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Apple Valley wrestling has dominated the sport in Minnesota for decades, but one of its wrestlers has quite the comeback story.

If you ever think you have it tough — try wrestling.

“I’m just going to push through it. And that’s what wrestling has kind of drilled into me, is that if something’s difficult, you just push through it,” Apple Valley wrestler Sebas Swiggum said.

And Sebas has had a lot to push through. View/continue reading at minnesota.cbslocal.com

Shakopee ends Apple Valley’s decades-long reign

By Brian Jerzak

35 straight trips to the state tournament. 12 straight State titles and 18 of the last 19 titles. Twenty-six total state championships.

That was the history facing the Shakopee Sabers’ wrestling team at Lakeville North High School when they advanced to the Section 2AAA championship match against defending state champion Apple Valley. When 220-pound freshman Tommy Johnson recorded a fall to give his team a ten-point lead with one match to go, the Sabers made history. They would go on to win the match 34-30 and return to State for the first time since 2004.

“It was so intense,” Shakopee junior Tyler Jones said. “Every match counted. They have been to State I think 35 years in a row, and we broke that streak. That feels amazing.”

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The Guillotine Grapevine: Before and After the Steveson-Kerkvliet supermatch – GG40

In the lore of Minnesota wrestling, Friday, February 2 might go down as one of the most important in the state’s history. Not because the dual outcome impacted a state or sectional title, but because you saw two world champions collide as two of the state’s power programs met in front of a capacity crowd at Simley High School in Inver Grove Heights.

Episode 40 of The Guillotine Grapevine goes before and after the Gable Steveson-Greg Kerkvliet super match. Steveson, a three-time world champion at the international age-group levels at heavyweight faced off with Simley 220-pounder Kerkvliet, the 2017 Cadet world champion at 100kg.

We talk with fathers Robert Steveson, Greg Kerkvliet, then we talk with the combatants before finishing up with Simley AD and wrestling coach Will Short about setting up the match.

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Apple Valley vs. Simley and Steveson vs. Kerkvliet – Why Not?

With the Super Bowl just two days away, high school wrestling was treated to a Super Bowl of sorts at Simley High School on Friday night. Not only was Simley – the number two ranked AA team in the state rolling with the number one ranked team in AAA – Apple Valley – in a match many wrestling fans across the nation have been talking about, Simley’s Daniel Kerkvliet was moving up from 220 to 285 to face Apple Valley’s Gable Steveson. With both teams being in different classes and both headlining wrestlers being in different weight classes, in the scope of Minnesota high school wrestling the result of the match was going to change little in the grand scheme of the high school wrestling season. Some might say way do it. Like Kerkvliet said – why not?

The gym was packed to capacity as the two teams took the mat.

Apple Valley got out to an 8-0 lead, but Simley’s Cael Berg cut into the lead with a first-period fall. Apple Valley’s Peyton McLagan got the Eagles back on track with a 6-2 win to give his team an 11-6 lead. While Steveson and Kerkvliet was the headliner, Valley’s Sebas Swiggum against Simley’s Jake Gliva was an excellent undercard bout. Gliva was more active in the first period, but neither wrestler was able to score. Swiggum took a 1-0 lead with an early escape and seemed to push the pace more in period two.

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Steveson holds off Kerkvliet in high school wrestling battle for the ages

Vince McMahon would have been proud.

Apple Valley senior Gable Steveson certainly did his part as a promoter in the days leading up to Friday night’s much-anticipated high school wrestling showdown against Simley junior Daniel “Greg” Kerkvliet Jr. It was surprisingly close, but Steveson held on for a 3-2 win before a raucous crowd of 1,900 in Inver Grove Heights.

A dual meet between the two traditional state powers provided a worthy undercard, with the Class 3A Eagles claiming a 38-24 victory over their Class 2A foes.

“The whole atmosphere was great,” Kerkvliet said after his first loss since a freestyle match at Junior Duals last summer in Tulsa, Okla. “The hoopla around it, the media, everybody coming out — it was energetic. This was a big one.” Continue reading at www.twincities.com