With high hopes to set school records, Cleveland High's long-strong wrestling program is well within reach.
Ten Blue Raiders survived the rounds of 32 and 16 on Thursday, the first day of the TSSAA Class AAA state traditional tournament in Franklin. Cleveland leads the field with a team total of 92.5 points.
The Blue Raiders landed 17 victories via pin, which were four more than any other program. Already this year's state duals champions, the Blue Raiders are looking to break school records in the traditional event of 232 points and three individual champions from back in 2013.
Crosstown powerhouse Bradley Central stands in second place with 75.5 points and six still in contention for individual titles. The Bears have the all-time AAA traditional standard with 268 points set in 2001.
Science Hill, Wilson Central and Blackman rounded out the top five in the team points race with respective totals of 64, 61.5 and 50.5.
In all, 21 AAA Chattanooga-area wrestlers stand three victories away from state championships, which will require two more wins today and a powerful finish in the 5:30 p.m. EST championship finals for all three divisions Saturday.
East Hamilton has two potential finalists left, while Rhea County, Walker Valley and Soddy-Daisy each has one.
Class AAA quarterfinals will begin at 11 this morning.
Hixson and Signal Mountain look to make runs at the A/AA team title as they will hit the mats for the first time at 11 a.m. and have to battle through the round of 16 and semifinals back to back.
Baylor and McCallie are expected to be in thick of the title hunt in Division II, which also will start with the quarterfinals at 11 a.m.
All semifinals matches will begin at 7 EST tonight.