More than 30 Division I schools and 126 wrestlers converge today at the Reno Livestock Events Center for the NIAA State Wrestling Championships.
Action begins at 1 p.m. today and starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday. The championship finals are slated for 2:30 p.m. Saturday Competition is being held in all three classes - Division I, Division IA and Div. III-IV.
Carson High is sending seven wrestlers - Sammy Mercado (113 pounds, 22-11 record), Kyle Sharp (120, 27-10), Dominic Kinder (126), Cole McCarthy (132, 30-9), Nicholas Lani (138, 26-12), Jordan Luhrs (170, 34-9) and Brady Rivera (182, 30-13) - to the event, and all have a bonafide chance to do well.
"I think all even have a chance to medal (top four)," coach Tim McCarthy said during Carson's light workout on Thursday. "I don't think anybody is satisfied just going to state. We talked about that today. All these guys had a pretty good regional tournament.
"They know when you go forward in life, people will ask how did you do at state. The kids have to make sure they focus on the process and not the outcome. If they focus on the process, the outcome will take care of itself."
Luhrs and Sharp are both technically No. 1 seeds in their respective weight classes. McCarthy said that all three region winners (Northern, Sunset and Sunrise) are seeded No. 1, and depending what side of the draw you end up on will determine whether there are two No. 1s on one side or not.
"Jordan has been wrestling really well," McCarthy said. "I think he has a shot at taking it all. If Kyle wrestles up to his ability, he could finish higher (than last year) or take it ll. The same with Cole."
Sharp opens with Robert Gigallon, and should he win that match he will get Green Valley's Josh Temple, a No. 1 seed. The other No. 1 seed is John Vigil of Arbor View.
Luhrs opens with Elvin Cruz, and then would probably face Abel Gomez of Rancho, a No. 1 seed. Legacy's Brandon Sorensen is the third No. 1 seed.
Cole McCarthy will have to wrestle an extra match if he's going to get to the finals. He is in an out-bracket match against a wrestler from Palo Verde. If McCarthy wins, he would face Spencer Watson of Green Valley. The two tangled last year in the battle for third place with Watson winning by pin. The match was tied at 6 before the fall.
Lani opens with Cimarron Memorial's London Thomas. If he wins, he would get Liberty's Daven Pope. Carson City resident Willy McDonald of Bishop Manogue is a No. 1 seed along with Palo Verde's Kyle Leet.
Rivera opens with Foothill's Jacob Ozuna, a No. 1 seed. He would see the winner of the Zack Ewert (Damonte Ranch) or Matthew King (Arbor View) in the second round.
"Rivera should place at this meet," coach McCarthy said. "To place in this tournament as a sophomore would be a good thing to add to his resume. He's in a tough weight class, but he's been wrestling well."
Mercado and Kinder both finished third last week.
Kinder is stuck in an out bracket match, and would face top-seeded Jared Brather of Green Valley if he wins. Mercado drew No. 1 seed Sean Cannon of Green Valley. He would see either Blake Boswell of Spanish Springs or Arbor View's Tyler Ramos depending on whether he wins or loses.