It was a tough day for the Wildcats and Miners during the first day of competition at the state wrestling tournament Friday in Nampa, Idaho.
Of the 11 Wildcat wrestlers who qualified, only four remain and of the Miners three qualified wrestlers only Austin McKinnon (106 pounds) remains in the hunt for a spot on the podium.
Wildcat wrestlers Tanner Figueroa (145) and Taylor Bush (98) are both exactly where most of North Idaho figured they would be and that is the semi-finals of their respective weight classes. Both wrestlers are the favorites to win their division and are ranked No. 1 for their respective weight classes.
Juddson Hall (113) and Kaleb Johnson (220) are both still alive in the tournament and can contend for the consolation championship.
The Wildcats are currently in 10th place as a team and despite having seven wrestlers eliminated, coach Scott Miller is pleased with where his team sits.
“All of our kids wrestled hard today but state competition is always unpredictable,” Miller said. “We are happy that everyone contributed to our team score so far and we feel our four remaining wrestlers are going to score a lot of points for us and we are looking forward to getting back at it in the morning.”
Wallace coach Pat Water was of a similar opinion on the level of competition and was proud of how his three guys performed during the first day. “Austin still has a lot of wrestling left if he wants to get third,” Waters said. “But I thought all the boys looked good and wrestled well, there is just a lot of tough wrestling down here.”
Both teams will wrap up their respective tournaments today at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa.
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Immediate coverage of the championship rounds will be available in the Sunday sports section of the Coeur d’Alene Press with localized coverage coming in the Tuesday edition of the Shoshone News-Press.