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.