PALM HARBOR — Most of the Pinellas County teams participating in Saturday's Hurricane Duals were resting their top wrestlers in anticipation of the Pinellas County Athletic Conference championships this coming weekend.
Palm Harbor University, on the other hand, used the event to get its younger wrestlers a little more experience against some top teams from around the state before the PCAC meet. PHU finished tied for fourth in a field of 14 teams behind winner Lake Highland Prep of Orlando. Lake Highland beat Lakeland George Jenkins 51-26 to finish 5-0 at the event.
"A lot of teams are banged up, but the kids did wrestle tough today," Palm Harbor U. coach Brad Sakevich said. "I'm proud of the effort put forth today. We're the young team around here right now. We hope to finish in the top three or four next weekend. Considering that I graduated 10 seniors last season and we are as young as we are, I'm extremely happy where we are at."
The Hurricanes went 3-2, defeating River Ridge (56-21), Lakewood Ranch (48-22) and Countryside (50-28). Palm Harbor had two wrestlers go undefeated through five matches: Aaron Hartman (135 pounds) and Jarred Stippert (215).
Dunedin and Largo rested many of their wrestlers as well, which resulted in the Falcons and Packers finishing 10th and tied for 12th, respectively.
Lake Highland Prep's eighth-grade sensation Fox Baldwin, ranked No. 1 in the 119-pound class in Class 1A according to Scout.com, avenged one of his rare losses from last season by defeating George Jenkins' Adam Habiel by major decision, 15-2.
"It was a cool thing to beat someone I lost to last season," said Baldwin, who improved to 46-2 this season.
"It feels pretty good now that I beat him. It's just another step toward state."
Team standings: Lake Highland Prep 5-0, Durant 4-1, George Jenkins 4-1, Palm Harbor 3-2, Riverview 3-2, Countryside 3-2, Fivay 2-3, Northeast 2-3, Lakewood Ranch 2-3, Dunedin 2-2, Palmetto 2-3, Brandenton Southeast 1-3, Largo 1-3, River Ridge 0-4.