GREENSBORO — The North Carolina High School Athletic Association state wrestling championships at the Greensboro Coliseum got underway on Thursday evening with the first round of competition in three classifications.
The 2-A wrestlers were the first ones to wrestle on the opening day, followed by the 3-A and then the 4-A competitors.
In 2-A action, Newton-Conover and Newport Croatan were at the top of the first-day standings. Newton-Conover, which won the 2-A dual team title two weeks ago over Dixon, had eight of its 12 qualifiers win in the first round and tallied 25.5 points. Croatan, the defending tournament champ, scored 17 team points, with five wrestlers winning, while Thomasville and West Caldwell tallied 14 points apiece. There are 71 schools with wrestlers in the 2-A competition.
Dixon qualified nine wrestlers for the tournament, but only three won in the opening round and the team is currently tied for 16th.
Eden Morehead, the 3-A dual team champions, leads the team standings in that classification after the opening night. Morehead advanced seven of its 11 qualifiers to tally 22 points to 17.5 for East Gaston, which had six wrestlers victorious in the opening round.
Orange, the two-time defending tournament champion, has 14 points good for third place, as five of its eight wrestlers won. Fred T. Foard, the dual team runner-up to Morehead two weeks ago, is in fourth with 13 points. A total of 80 3-A schools are represented in the championships.
Perennial power Winston-Salem Parkland, one of the favorites in 4-A, has won three of the last four 4-A team titles and qualified 12 wrestlers to the state tournament. Nine of those won in the opening round to give Parkland 28 points to 17.5 for Fayetteville Jack Britt.
Britt, runner-up to Parkland in the 4-A dual team, qualified 13 grapplers to the state event and seven won in the opening round. Holly Springs is third with 17 points. A total of 74 4-A schools advanced wrestlers from the regionals to the state event.
The 2-A, 3-A and 4-A classifications will begin competition Friday morning with the first round of consolations starting at 9 am. The 1-A class, with a smaller field of wrestlers, will start Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. with quarterfinals.
The championship matches in all classifications are scheduled for Saturday evening, starting at 5 p.m. with the Parade of Champions.