While two of the state's four Class 3A wrestling sectionals lost the battle with the weather, turning them into one-day Saturday marathons, it was full speed ahead at Barrington on Friday.
Most of Lake County's favorites breezed into the semifinals, including the state-ranked trio from Mundelein -- Dane Durlacher (106, 39-0), Reese Durlacher (126, 36-3) and Logan Kvein (182, 35-4).
Likewise for Libertyville's big three of Danny Pucino (132, 38-2), Michael Gunther (138, 22-3) and heavyweight Charlie Schmidt.
All of the above but Schmidt (33-4) are in search of a second consecutive trip downstate next week. And all would be assured of that voyage by winning in the semifinals, which are scheduled to begin at about 11:30 a.m.
Prior to that, first-round wrestleback action will start Day No. 2. Eventually, the top four finishers in each weight class advance downstate for the 3A state tourney in Champaign next weekend. First- and third-place matches are set to start at about 4 p.m.
Dane Durlacher (39-0), fourth last season at state, looked in peak form during his quarterfinal bout. It took all of 2:43 for the Mustangs senior to register his technical fall.
"I just want to go out and wrestle, not sit around and wait, but that's what you get when you win regionals and automatically earn that first-round bye," said the No. 2-rated 106-pounder in the state.
His younger brother Reese, a junior, along with Libertyville senior Matt Templeton (31-7), find themselves in the heart of one of the best weight classes here this weekend. It includes No. 2 Fabian Lopez (DeKalb, 39-1) and state-ranked, three-time state qualifier Zach Spencer (40-6) of Huntley.
Durlacher will meet Lopez, while Templeton next faces Spencer.
Stevenson senior Tommy Frezza (120, 34-4) is back in the semifinals for a second consecutive season, and against a familiar face in Jacobs sophomore Jake Harrier (34-3). Frezza defeated Harrier in the Leyden Invite final in early January.
This will be the fourth meeting between these two rivals in the last two seasons, with Frezza prevailing here a year ago in the final.
Frezza's teammate Max Gomez (35-8) will need to bring a max effort to his semifinal when he faces No. 5 Blah Dahnweih (38-4) of DeKalb in his 195-pound bout. On the top half of the bracket, it's No. 6 Jake Meyer (Barrington, 41-1) versus No. 4 Justin Allen (23-6) of Huntley.
Schmidt finds himself in elite company at 285, a weight class which features four of the top six men in the state. Next for Schmidt is No. 1 Anthony Cassioppi (38-0) of Rockton Hononegah, a Northwestern football recruit.
On the top half of the bracket, fans will see No. 5 Isiah Ziegler (Dundee-Crown, 39-3) and No. 6 Jose Ramos (36-4) of Prospect.
Warren has a formidable lower weight lineup and advanced each competitor. Sawyer (106, 33-5) and Austin Nash (113, 16-5) will be joined by teammate Joel Vandervere (37-2), who continues to impress one week after pinning his way to his first regional title of his young career.
"I won a couple of big matches at the Lake County Invite (including Frezza in the final) and it was then that people began to know what type of wrestler I am," said the Warren freshman, whose only two defeats are to No. 2 Domenic Zaccone of Stagg.
Vandervere faces Zach Fausel (10-2) of Hononegah on Saturday morning.