After the first two rounds of competition in the Class 4A, Region IIwrestling tournament, defending state champion Sarasota is in first place with 57 points, Brandon is second with 54 1/2, Clearwater Countryside is third with 52 and Bloomingdale is fourth with 46 1/2.
"In the regional tournament you don't win many matches," Brandon coach Russ Cozart said. "We won some big matches today and we lost some. (Kenny) Urhuhart had a great win in the quarterfinals.
Urhuhart made his moves in the closing seconds of a close match to beat Ricky Paris of Pinellas Park 6-2. Paris came into the match with a 20-4 record.
Both Brandon and Sarasota will have seven wrestlers in the semifinals at 10 this morning. Bloomingdale and Countryside will have six each.
"We are doing about what we expected so far," Sarasota coach Ron Jones said. "I'm a little worried about Brandon right now though."
Chamberlain is also staying close in the hunt with 35 team points for sixth place. The Chiefs have five in the semifinals today.
Other Hillsborough County teams and their standings: East Bay (eighth, 27 points); Leto (12th, 17 1/2); Hillsborough and Gaither (tied for 13 with 16 points each); Plant City (18th, four points);
King (20th, two).
Class 3A, Region II: Advancing seven wrestlers to the semifinals,
Springstead took an early lead at Auburndale in the Class 3A, Region II high school tournament.
The Eagles, champions of Class 3A, District 7 managed 52 points after two rounds of action Friday night. Defending region champion Orlando Bishop Moore is second with 40 followed by tourney host Auburndale (31.5) and Ocala Forest (28).
Land O'Lakes heavyweight Don Meredith provided the night's highlight, pinning first round opponent Jay Butler of Ocala Vanguard in just six seconds.
"The move showed up and I threw it," said Meredith, who overhooked Butler's head and underhooked his arm before pulling the freshman onto his back. "It freaked me out just as much as it did everybody else."
According to the National High School Sports Record Book, the national record for fastest fall by a heavyweight is four seconds, a mark shared by seven prep wrestlers.
Despite his team's 12 point advantage, disappointed Springstead coach Bob Levija said there is no telling what results today's action will produce.
- Staff writer Tim Buckley contributed to this report.