Smithfield and Gloucester will find out quickly how tough the competition is in the Virginia Duals this year.
Those two schools were placed in the National Division, the best of the three high schools divisions. In the first round Friday at the Hampton Coliseum,. Smithfield will wrestle top-ranked St. Mark's of Wilmington, Del., and Gloucester faces Christiansburg, the second seed. Both matches start at 9 a.m. Friday.
St. Mark's finished fourth in the recent Beast of the East tournament with two potential place-winners out with injuries. The team then finished fourth in the Bethlehem Holiday Classic last week.
Christiansburg is coming off a seventh-place finish at the Beat of the East and a fourth-place finish in the National Duals in Rochester, Minn. The Blue Demons have won seven straight Virginia Group AA state championships.
The duals runs Friday and Saturday at the coliseum, starting at 9 a.m. and running through the final matches, which start at 9 p.m.
On Saturday, wrestling starts at 8 a.m., with the championship and third-place matches beginning at 8:30 p.m.
Poquoson, Menchville and York are in the American Division. Poquoson is the No. 2 seed and faces Menchville at 7. Friday At 5 p.m., York meets fourth-seeded St. Christopher's of Richmond. Canon-McMillian of Canonsburg, Pa., is the top seed.
Hampton, Phoebus and Tabb are in the Black and Blue Division. They open up at 7 p.m. Friday, wrestling Massaponax, Riverbend and Hickory, respectively. None of the three Peninsula teams are seeded.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun