North Suncoast wrestling: Fivay takes fifth at East Lake; Springstead is eighth at Cougar Invite

Fivay finished fifth overall to lead a strong North Suncoast contingent at the East Lake Invitational wrestling meet on Saturday, while Springstead was eighth at Durant's Cougar Invitational at Plant City.

Fivay scored 156 points at East Lake, well behind meet winner Venice (247.5), with River Ridge sixth (124) and Sunlake seventh (117) in the top 10 of the 25-team meet. The East Lake Invitational is one of the big early season tuneups for teams and individuals hoping to earn a trip to the state meet at Lakeland in February. Mitchell, Weeki Wachie and Ridgewood also competed.

The Falcons put two individuals atop the podium, with junior Cole Manion (106 pounds) and senior Collin Hahn (170) winning their weight classes.

Manion was just one match shy of the state finals last season, but according to coach Andy Medders the junior is, "way better" this year and is now cutting weight to make 106 instead of eating to make 106. Manion beat Venice's Kyle Kelley 7-4.

Teammate Hahn did advance to the state meet last year and went 4-0 at East Lake, including a final where he topped Lyman's Josh Velez 3-1 despite having his nose bloodied.

"He (Velez) had a good stance, it was hard to set up my shots," Hahn said.

River Ridge had senior Dakota Arends reach the top the 113-pound medal stand. Arends was fifth at state last season after compiling a 38-5 record in Class 2A. He went 4-0 Saturday, pinning two opponents and outscoring the others 18-4. Arends wrestles at a more natural weight this year with higher expectations.

"At 106 last year, my body felt drained," Arends said. "I'm wrestling at my natural weight this year and now I don't think about it anymore, it just flows."

At the Cougar Invitational at the Strawberry Festival Fairgrounds, Springstead's Michael McDonald claimed the North Suncoast's lone individual title. McDonald (10-0) reached the 113-pound final after four pins and posted a major decision victory over South Dade's Maleek Williams 10-2.

"I don't know if I had as much confidence last year as a freshman," said McDonald, who was eliminated in the first round of last year's invitational. "Now I work hard."

Springstead posted 118.5 points behind meet winner Kissimmee Osceola (258).

Times correspondent Steve Lee contributed to this report.

East Lake Invitational

Team scores: 1. Venice 247.50, 2. Lyman 215, 3. George Jenkins 169.50, 4. Riverview 162, 5. Fivay 156, 6. River Ridge 124, 7. Sunlake 117, 8. Dixie Hollins 111, 9. Southridge 107.50, 10. St. Petersburg 95.50, 11. Countryside 94, 12. Dunedin 87.50, 13. East Lake 79, 14. Northeast 72, 15. Pinellas Park 67.50, 16. Largo 59, 17. Clearwater 55, 17. Mitchell 55, 19. Seminole 50, 20. Northside Christian 39, 21. Osceola 36, 21. Weeki Wachee 36, 23. Ridgewood 30, 24. Booker 23, 25. Tarpon Springs 21

Cougar Invitational hosted by Durant

Team scores: 1. Kissimmee Osceola 258, 2. Camden Co. 197.5, 3. Winter Springs 183.5, 4. South Dade 157.5, 5. Palm Harbor U. 151, 6. Effingham 136.5, 7. Riverdale 136, 8. Springstead 118.5, 9. Lake Highland Prep 115.5, 10. Lake Gibson 106.5, 11. SW Miami 102, 12. Collins Hill 92.5, 13. Durant 92, 14. Braddock 85.5, 15. Sarasota 78, 16. King 72, 16. Robinson 72, 18. Steinbrenner 70.5, 19. Bayside 59, 20. Fort Walton Beach 44, 21. Hillsborough 41, 22. Western 31, 23. Lakeland 30.5, 24. Freedom 20, 25. Strawberry Crest 15, 26. Tampa Prep 14.0

North Suncoast wrestling: Fivay takes fifth at East Lake; Springstead is eighth at Cougar Invite 12/02/12 [Last modified: Sunday, December 2, 2012 1:11am]

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