Max Anderton Tiger-Grizz

Max Anderton of Highland High School pins Alexander Challis of Shelley High School during the Tiger-Grizz wrestling tournament Friday at Skyline High School.

IDAHO FALLS — Both of the past two championship trophies have ended up in Wyoming.

And since 1999, just two of those gold Tiger-Grizz Wrestling Invitational championship trophies have remained at home in Eastern Idaho.

When meet officials have handed out that big gold Tiger-Grizz trophy of late, that trophy has had a long bus ride to its new home.

A handful of local teams are aiming to shorten that ride.

Competing at Eastern Idaho's premier prep grappling event, mats in the main and auxiliary gyms at Skyline High School were clogged with competitors from 31 schools Friday afternoon.

Fresh off their team win at the Madison Invitational, Sugar-Salem finished Day 1 in second place with 90 points, 14 back of Nevada's Spring Creek.

Not far behind in a jammed team leaderboard were Bonneville, Shelley and Blackfoot, putting up 79, 77.5 and 74 points, respectively.

Wherever his Broncos finish, Blackfoot coach Thain Cashmore knows it will be a solid predictor of future performance.

"This is a showcase that attracts top teams from all over the state, and from outside the state, because of the level of competition," Cashmore said. "This is a great yardstick for us, because if you can place at a tournament like Tiger-Grizz, you're probably going to place at state as well."

The final fours are set at each weight, with the Russets and Diggers leading the way with five wrestlers each on the championship side of the bracket.

Representing the host Skyline Grizzlies on the happy side of the 120-pound bracket, senior Kade Lincoln is competing in his final Tiger-Grizz. Lincoln won the event as a freshman, and has finished third each of the past two seasons.

"Honestly, I can't really remember a Tiger-Grizz that I wasn't at growing up," Lincoln said. "I have spent my life at this tournament, and of all the tournaments I compete in, this is the one I want to win the most."

Highland leads District 5 teams in 11th place, with senior Konnor Cordingley in the 138-pound semifinals chasing his third Tiger-Grizz title.

Snake River is in 17th with the only other semifinalist from District 5 in Destin Summers at 120 pounds. Pocatello is in 24th.

Also representing District 91 with a chance at gold is Todd Payne at 195 pounds.

District 93 has five such wrestlers in their respective final fours, with Derek Ramos (126) representing Hillcrest, and Austin Ford (170), Matthew Boone (182), Sully Andrus (195) and Truman Peterson (285) representing Bonneville.

Wrestlers return to action Saturday at 9 a.m. with medalists to be determined throughout the morning and early afternoon.

That and whether the 2018 Tiger-Grizz team championship trophy is destined for a long bus ride home, or a short one.