East Lake Invitational
Where: East Lake High
When: Session 1 begins today at 1:30 with opening rounds and wrestlebacks. Session 2 begins Saturday at 9 a.m. with semifinals and wrestlebacks.
What: This is the primary early-season tuneup for Pinellas County wrestlers. This year’s event features 24 teams from Tampa, Orlando and Miami with some of the top wrestlers in their classes.
Who: Junior Jared Prince (126 pounds) of Palm Harbor University is ranked at the top of his weight class by Scout.com in 3A. Prince is the defending 3A state champion at 120 pounds. Twin brother Connor (132) is ranked second in Class 3A. Senior teammate Aaron Hartman (152) is ranked first in 3A in his class. Fellow senior Tim Sakow (113) is ranked second in 3A. The Hurricanes bring a senior-laden team into the weekend with eight wrestlers in the top 10 in 3A and are the favorites for the team title.
Story line: Senior wrestlers Nico Lightfoot of Fivay, fourth at state in 2013, and Anthony Dampier of Dunedin will most likely face off tangle at 170 pounds. Both are ranked second in their respective classifications (Lightfoot A, Dampier 2A). The two wrestlers should be split up to set the stage for them to meet in Saturday’s final.
Favorites: The 145-pound class has four ranked wrestlers. Dunedin senior Mark Allison (sixth, 2A) will clash with senior Tucker Hardwick of PHU (seventh, 3A). Gulf senior Robert Napolitano (eighth, A) and Venice senior CJ Trammel (seventh, 2A) will help stack the bracket.