Springstead used its balanced lineup to bring home a seventh straight Kiwanis Invitational title. The Eagles got wins from Matt Landgraff (106), Mike McDonald (113), and Conor Ross (170) to edge fellow 2A state power Lake Gibson.
Gulf finished third, using runner-up finishes by Forrest Swartsel (126) and Spencer Baxter (160). Robert Napolitano (138) and Jared Kruse finished third for the Bucs, but coach Travis DeWalt wasn't impressed by his team's results.
"We got some feelings hurt today," DeWalt said. "I guess it's back to the drawing board."
State qualifiers from last season, Anthony Agazarm (120) and heavyweight Kenny Hayes failed to place for the Bucs, and Swartsel and Baxter fell short in the finals.
"Nothing against those kids that they wrestled, but I feel like Forrest and Spencer didn't wrestle to their capabilities at all," DeWalt said.
One of the most impressive performances of the weekend came from the wrestler who beat Swartsel in the final. Lennard's Darrian Mills breezed through the 126-pound class before stopping Swartsel in the final, 6-1. Despite that convincing victory over a state placer from last season, Mills wasn't happy.
"I'm not happy with my performance." Mills said. "I want my wins to be more decisive. I want to dominate and win state."
Joe Marcano, of Tampa Bay Christian Academy turned in an impressive performance at 182 pounds.
Marcano, an eighth-grader, was hardly tested all weekend, and in the final he pinned Hernando's Nick Brewer in less than a minute.
Fivay Saturday Slam
The Fivay Falcons steamrolled their way to a championship in the third annual Fivay Saturday Slam with four convincing wins on Saturday. Fivay went 4-0 on the day, defeating Tampa Prep 75-0, Winter Haven 54-21, Orlando Bishop Moore 74-6, and Bradenton Southeast.
Like last weekend at the East Lake Invitational, the Falcons were led by their five most experienced wrestlers. Cole Manion (106), Troy Reed (120), Andrew Scherer (145), Nicco Lightfoot (170) and Colin Hahn (182) were all undefeated on the day.
"Those five guys wrestled awesome." said Fivay coach Andy Medders.
In the lineup for the first time this season was heavyweight Kelly Meus. Meus has had to cut more than 25 pounds since football ended to get to 285, and the constant conditioning and dieting has taken its toll on the senior.
"Kelly has been working so hard losing weight, that he hasn't been able to practice much wrestling." Medders said. "It's nice to have him back."