POCATELLO - With 12 wrestlers in the semifinals and seven alive in the consolation bracket, Centennial took a strong lead after the first day of state competition Friday at Holt Arena.
The Patriots amassed 157.5 points in the 5A team race, followed by Post Falls (111) and Lewiston (89).
"It's a better position than our team has been in previous years for sure," Centennial coach Collin Robertson said. "But it is a two-day tournament and you don't win on the first day, so we're just going to keep trying to wrestle our best."
In the 4A team race, the anticipated battle between District Three teams Columbia and Kuna was apparent from the start.
After the first round of championship and consolation matches, Kuna led Columbia 60.5 to 60. But by the end of the day, Columbia regained the lead 143 to 130.
The Wildcats advanced 11 into the semifinals, while the Kavemen have 10.
Defending 3A champion Weiser was out front after Friday's competition with 106 points. Snake River is second with 98.5 and Fruitland third with 91.5.
Two-time defending champion Declo is in position to win its third consecutive 2A title, leading second-place Malad 90.5 to 83. Melba is in third with 81 points and has seven in the semifinals.
FOR THE RECORD
Two records for fastest pin time were established in the 4A and 2A classifications.
Kuna senior Austin Silsby pinned Jerome's Cameron Bartlett in 6 seconds in his first match of the day. The previous record at the 4A level was 11 seconds by Madison's Chase Green in 2011.
"I kind of snapped him and took him down, and he went straight to his back," Silsby said. "I scooped up his head and the ref just immediately called the pin."
Reigning Rollie Lane champion Troy Richardson of Melba established a record in the 2A classification. In his opening match at 182 pounds, Richardson pinned Valley's Anthony Benavidez in 7 seconds. The senior's time bettered the previous record of 8 seconds, shared by Challis' K.C. Hurless (2003) and West Jefferson's Preston McCulloch (2009).
FIVE GIRLS, HUNDREDS OF GUYS
Amber Pair's first year as a wrestler wasn't too shabby.
The Cascade freshman at 106 pounds finished second in the 2A/1A District Three Tournament last week.
Although she went two-and-out at state Friday, Pair doesn't plan on quitting.
"I do judo and my brother does wrestling, so I thought I might try it," said Pair, who won a bronze medal in judo at the Pan American U-13 and U-15 Championships for junior athletes in 2009. "I really like it and I hope to compete some more next year."
Four other girls qualified for state: Skyline's Tiffani Hollingsworth (5A, 98), Mountain Home's Aerial Groene (4A, 106), Fruitland's Melanie Cowgill (3A, 106) and Prairie's Kellie Heitman (2A, 106).
All but Hollingsworth went two-and-out Friday. She lost in the first round and won her first match in loser-out competition before being eliminated in the consolation quarterfinals.
Unusual haircuts and colors were prevalent on the first day.
Capital wrestlers were a uniform bleach blond, a tradition coach Jody Webb said has been around for years.
Former Capital wrestler and coach Chris Crawford, who owns the hair salon Clippers in Boise, dyed the hair before state.
"He started dying wrestlers' hair when he was there and then after that he just kept it up," Webb said. "We all go there."
Rocky Mountain continued its own tradition. Since the school opened in 2009, Grizzlies who qualify for state have done something unusual with their hair. This year, they dyed their hair purple, but some also chose to incorporate a Mohawk.
The most unique look went to Boise's Ian Culley. The freshman, who wrestles at 220 pounds, had his dad, Todd, shave the face of a man wearing sunglasses with a mustache into the back of his head. "Most of my teammates thought it was pretty funny," Ian said.
Four top seeds lost on the first day.
Justin Stattner of Vallivue lost in the 5A 113-pound quarterfinals to Post Falls' Peter Berger by a 16-7 major decision.
Kuna's JC English lost a 5-4 decision to Emmett's Alexander Garcia in the 4A 285-pound quarterfinals.
Timberlake's Forrest Herring was pinned in 3:12 by Weiser's Ty Johnson in a 3A 170-pound quarterfinal.
Firth's Conner Montgomery lost 7-6 in triple OT in a 2A 160-pound quarterfinal against Grace's Daniel McGregor.
Rachel Roberts: 377-6422, Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX