State wrestling tournament begins today

Wasilla will begin its defense of the Class 4A state wrestling title today at Bartlett High, where the best wrestlers from the state's largest schools will begin preliminary matches at 10 a.m. Among Wasilla's top challengers is last season's runner-up, a Service team coming off a convincing win at last week's Cook Inlet Conference tournament.

Eleven Cougars reached the CIC finals and six of them won individual conference titles, but Service coach Luke Duffy said winning the school's 11th state title -- first since 2000 -- will be a serious challenge."

"Wasilla is the team to beat," he said.

The championship semifinals will begin tonight at 6 p.m., with winners advancing to the championship finals Saturday at 5:15 p.m.