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State wrestling: Northside's early hopes tempered; Largo starts strong

LAKELAND — With three wrestlers in the semifinals, Northside Christian isn't out of the team championship race at the state wrestling championships, but Day 1 didn't put the program where it wanted to be.

The Mustangs (32 points) had thoughts of state glory coming into the tournament, but after the first two rounds, one of the seven wrestlers to make the trip has been eliminated and four others are toiling in wrestlebacks.

Brian Travis (125 pounds), Dalton Dennis (135) and Anthony Melillo (140) went undefeated Friday to earn berths in the Class A semifinals for Northside Christian and will bear the brunt of the team points going forward if the Mustangs are going to continue to compete.

Largo (34) has also put up a solid showing in Class 2A, holding a sixth-place spot after the first two rounds. Clarence Longley (135), Josh Jeffries (145) and Chris Johnson (152) have made it through to the semifinals with hopes of competing for individual gold.

Dixie Hollins' Dana Harrington (125) will join them as the lone other Pinellas County semifinal representative in 2A. The area brought 38 to the tournament, and 18 have been eliminated from contention.

In Class 3A, Palm Harbor University's Aaron Hartman (130) and Countryside's Charles McDaniel (160) will be in the semifinals as the lone representatives from their programs to survive the top side of the bracket on the first day. Countryside had three wrestlers and Palm Harbor University began the event with four.

Class 3A: 1. Brandon 116.50; 2. Homestead South Dade 56.50; 3. Winter Springs 56.00; 4. Kissimmee Osceola 44.00; 18. Palm Harbor University 15.00; 21. (tie) Countryside 12.00; 73. (tie) East Lake 0.00

Class 2A: 1. Lake Gibson 79.00; 2. Springstead 74.00; 3. Riverdale 51.00; 4. Oveido 50.00; 6. Largo 34.00; 23. (tie) Dixie Hollins 12.00; 20. Dunedin 15.00; 40. (tie) Osceola 4.00; 47. (tie) Boca Ciega 3.00

Class A: 1. Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons 60.00; 2. Clay 57.00; 3. Orlando Lake Highland Prep 51.50; 4. Orlando Bishop Moore 32.50; 5. Northside Christian 32.00; 56. (tie) Admiral Farragut 4.00; 59. (tie) Lakewood 3.00; 67. Clearwater Central Catholic 2.00

State wrestling: Northside's early hopes tempered; Largo starts strong 02/19/11 [Last modified: Saturday, February 19, 2011 12:18am]

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