SHELL LAKE, WI – It’s that time of the season when wrestlers are starting to hit their stride to get in the groove for post-season wrestling. They want to set themselves up for the best possible success to make their way to Madison.

The Spring Valley/Elmwood wrestlers are no different, trying to challenge themselves at every opportunity, and that’s exactly what they did last weekend at the Shell Lake Challenge wrestling tournament.

The challenge isn’t your typical tournament, the wrestlers will compete in pools, then, based on their record after the pool round, will wrestle for place.

The Cardinals finished in fourth place in the tournament as a team with 327 points. Spooner won with 437 points, followed by Ashland (362), Shell Lake (344), SV/E, Chequamegon (274), Rice Lake (255), Regis (249), Bruce (92), Thorp (70) and Bayfield/Washburn (22).

Kaleb Casey continues to make a name for himself as a freshman, winning the challenge and earning 53 team points at 106 pounds. Casey has moved up to an honorable mention ranking at 106 pounds in the state.

Also taking first place was Riley Merth at 145 pounds, earning 40 team points.

“Both Riley and Kaleb did a really good job in the challenge,” said Head Coach Bill Hofacker. “Riley really had to work hard to earn it, and he was very technical in his wrestling.”

Taking second place in the tournament for the Cardinals was Tristan Neisinger at 113 and Santana Schlegel at 160, with Kenny Fesenmaier finishing third at 182 pounds.

Ryan Christensen took fourth place at 152 pounds while Brayden Wolf (138), Travis Marty (195) and Paul Schwebach (220) all took fifth place. Clayton Neisinger took seventh place at 170 pounds to round out the Cardinal wrestlers.

The Cardinals hosted Durand last night in Spring Valley for another conference dual match, and will wrestle at the Whitetail Adrenaline Shootout in Menomonie tonight. Valley also travels to Mondovi on Tuesday, January 29th, to wrap up the conference dual season.