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Steffens, Turchin, Novak tearing through competition at national tourney

Wadena-Deer Creek sophomore Mitch Steffens won his first four matches this week in the National High School Coaches Association Tournament in Virginia Beach, Va.

Competing for Team Minnesota, Steffens pinned New Jersey's Ian Henry at the 5:03 mark in his tournament opener. He followed that victory up by pinning Colt Grace of Alabama at the 5:31 mark. Steffens decisioned Georgia's Zach Young 5-1 and Pennsylvania's James Elphick 4-2 to reach the semifinals where he lost a 9-0 decision to New Mexico's Eric Montoya. The loss dropped him into the consolation bracket. Steffens can finish no lower than sixth in the tournament which wraps up Sunday.

Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale sophomore Colin Turchin pinned Maryland's Jonathan Boarman at the 1:19 mark in the first round of their 285-pound match. Turchin then pinned West Virginia's Eric Young at 2:38 before losing a 14-6 decision to Pennsylvania's Josh Duplin. Turchin is slated to wrestle Ohio's Pat Elfein in the consolation bracket.

New York Mills' freshman Shane Novak earned a first round bye at 103. Novak pinned Pennsylvania's Garek Strouse at 3:35 and decisioned Colby Knight of Iowa 4-2 before losing a 7-2 decision to Pennsylvania's Trey Balasco. Novak is still competing in the consolation bracket.

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