LAND O'LAKES — When Gators wrestling coach Jason Carpenter invited teams from all across Central Florida to the annual Swamp Challenge Duals, he wanted the best teams and competition possible.
Host Land O'Lakes definitely got that from the Brandon Eagles, as the fifth-ranked high school team in the nation outscored the field 403-0 to take the title Saturday evening.
"This is exactly what we needed this time of the year," Brandon coach Russ Cozart said. "We looked good today. There was some good competition out there, and we had a really good performance today."
The Swamp Challenge format splits 10 teams into two five-team pools. Each team wrestles dual matches against the others in its pool, with one team sitting out each round with a bye. Then the pools are brought together for the dual finals, the teams matched up by their record in pool play.
With Cozart's team preparing for a Jan. 1-2 trip to the national Cheesehead tournament in Kaukauna, Wis., Brandon finished 4-0 in Pool 1, beating Wesley Chapel (81-0), Land O'Lakes (81-0), Sebring (79-0) and Zephyrhills (78-0).
"I wanted to have (Brandon) in our pool; why not go against the best?" Carpenter said.
Pasco claimed Pool 2, beating St. Cloud (43-36), Wiregrass Ranch (49-31), Clearwater Central Catholic (43-27) and Alonso (49-30), and won the spot opposite Brandon in the finals.
But the Eagles proved they are on a totally different level right now, outscoring Pasco 84-0. Seven of Brandon's 14 wrestlers recorded a pin in less than one minute.
"We met our objective today," said Pasco coach Mark Augustino. "They're Brandon, and as long as we keep improving, because we are a young team."
DURANT — Springstead edged Kissimmee Osceola 212.50-211 on Saturday night to win the Cougar Invitational hosted by Durant. Nick Soto (130 pounds) and Cody Ross (135) both scored individual titles. Shawn Landraff (152) and John Dreggors (285) placed second in their weight classes.