The opening round of Mat Classic XXVI just came to a close here at the Tacoma Dome, and Class 1A state title hopeful Blaine got off to a strong start.
The Mount Baker girls' team also wrestled well, but was dealt a significant blow. On the other hand, Ferndale struggled mightily, as did the county's 2A wrestlers.
Whatcom County entered the 2014 Mat Classic with 61 wrestlers and went 24-37 during the opening round.
The Borderites went 1-4 during their first four matches but rebounded by winning eight of their next nine, putting them in first place atop the 1A team standings. Blaine enters the evening session with 30 points, Forks is in second with 23 and Warden earned 20 points and stands in third.
Blaine's winners include Kyle Gonzales (106), Riley Fritsch (126), Gage Lott (126), Anthony Frey (132), Caleb Frey (138), Christian Sharp (152), Jon Stewart (160), Tristan Hunter (170) and Mikey Antczak (285).
The Baker girls' team sits in second place with 18 points. It trails first-place Warden by 3.5 points.
The Mountaineers went 5-5 and earned wins from Natalie Smith (118), Nicole Boardman (124), Heidi Chambers (124), Jessica Mata (137) and Aniecea Camacho (155). Akemi Schwinden (285), who placed third at last year's Mat Classic, suffered a knee injury in during her first match and was forced to take an injury default. Her status for the rest of the tournament is uncertain.
Ferndale, which entered this weekend hoping to finish inside the top 10, went a disappointing 1-10 during their 11 first-round matches. Only Klinton Maassen (182) earned a win.
Class 2A wrestlers weren't much better.
Whatcom County 2A went 1-9. Squalicum's Luke Jordan (120) is the only one still in contention for a state title.
Nooksack Valley boys' wrestlers Paul Newell (126) and Taylor Gardner (138) each won their first matches, and Mount Baker boys finished 2-3. Both Travis Lindsey (170) and Alex Ray (182) won their matches.
Other notable girls' winners were Blaine's Olivia Adams (130), Nooksack Valley's Alex Parson and Chloe Gardner and Sehome's Lisa Hernandez.
Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for more updates from Mat Classic XXVI as the evening session gets underway at 4:00 p.m.