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GREENSBORO — Of the 12 wrestlers from The Wilson Times readership area that opened Thursday’s North Carolina High School Athletic Association wrestling championships with title aspirations, only four remain in contention following Thursday’s opening round of matches at Greensboro Coliseum.
All four grapplers are in the 3-A ranks, with three remaining from Fike and one from Charles B. Aycock.
Aaron Bancroft, the East regional champion at 160 pounds, opened his quest with a brisk 16-1 technical fall over Terrell Dixon of SouthWest Guilford.
At 106 pounds, Jahmez Settles moved forward with an 8-4 decision over Lazaro Vasquez of North Henderson. Joseph Speight reached the second round at 182, legging out a 9-3 conquest of Cape Fear's Kevin Pate.
From CBA, 152-pound East regional titlist Tyler Hughes pressed on, outpointing Zachary Pranka of Fayetteville Terry Sanford 11-6.
The other combatants didn’t fare as well in their respective bouts.
At 113, Southern Nash’s Johnathan Salazar was excused after being pinned with 7 seconds left in his match with Roxboro Person’s Diego Jimenez.
The Fike duo of Vincent Page (145) and Saulo Rodriguez (285) were knocked into the consolation draw, with Page dropping a 12-3 majority decision to Spencer Leonhardt of Morganton Freedom.
Rodriguez was narrowly defeated 8-6 via decision by Garrett Crockett of Hope Mils Gray’s Creek.
The CBA trio of Canon Barrett (120), Omar Tucker (138) and Turner Bass (195) all suffered first-round defeats.
Barrett was pinned in the third period by Piedmont’s Bailey Wicker, Tucker conceded a 16-5 major decision to Piedmont’s Colby Funderburk and Bass was turned aside by Western Guilford’s Charles Swiggett via second-period pin.
Both 2-A area entrants were defeated in the first round.
At 170, Jared Fields of Greene Central was shut out 10-0 by Mount Pleasant’s Garrett Overbay, and SouthWest Edgecombe’s Kedar Darden was stopped in a 17-7 majority decision against Newton-Conover’s Cole Clark.
The quarterfinals and first consolations are set for Friday.