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Ramstein's Clesson Allman tries to finish off Stuttgart's Jacob Puentes  in a 285-pound match in opening-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Puentes got out of the jam but lost in an 18-12 decision to Allman in an exciting first-round match.
Ramstein's Clesson Allman tries to finish off Stuttgart's Jacob Puentes in a 285-pound match in opening-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Puentes got out of the jam but lost in an 18-12 decision to Allman in an exciting first-round match. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Ramstein's Clesson Allman tries to finish off Stuttgart's Jacob Puentes  in a 285-pound match in opening-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Puentes got out of the jam but lost in an 18-12 decision to Allman in an exciting first-round match.
Ramstein's Clesson Allman tries to finish off Stuttgart's Jacob Puentes in a 285-pound match in opening-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Puentes got out of the jam but lost in an 18-12 decision to Allman in an exciting first-round match. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Royce Staley has a lock on Vilseck's Darnel Pitts in a 220-pound match in opening-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Staley won.
Royce Staley has a lock on Vilseck's Darnel Pitts in a 220-pound match in opening-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Staley won. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Baumholder's Yorel Smalls puts the pressure on Stuttgart's Michael Stuber on his way to winning the 195-pound match on opening day of the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016.
Baumholder's Yorel Smalls puts the pressure on Stuttgart's Michael Stuber on his way to winning the 195-pound match on opening day of the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Kaiserslautern's Zach Greene, front, and Vicenza's Seth Shields try to get the advantage over each other in a 170-pound match in opening-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Shields went on to win.
Kaiserslautern's Zach Greene, front, and Vicenza's Seth Shields try to get the advantage over each other in a 170-pound match in opening-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Shields went on to win. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Hohenfels' Phillip Davis, left, grapples with Vicenza's Ethan Johnston in a 170-pound match in opening-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Johnston got out of Davis' grip and went on to win the match.
Hohenfels' Phillip Davis, left, grapples with Vicenza's Ethan Johnston in a 170-pound match in opening-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Johnston got out of Davis' grip and went on to win the match. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Aviano's Ayden Capps, left, tries to pressure Stuttgart's Thomas Bernard in a 160-pound match in opening-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Bernard went on to win.
Aviano's Ayden Capps, left, tries to pressure Stuttgart's Thomas Bernard in a 160-pound match in opening-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Bernard went on to win. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Kaiserslautern's Thaniel Hrushka gets underneath Sigonella's Austin Brehmer as he tries to flip him in a 152-pound match in first-round action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Hrushka went on to win the match.
Kaiserslautern's Thaniel Hrushka gets underneath Sigonella's Austin Brehmer as he tries to flip him in a 152-pound match in first-round action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Hrushka went on to win the match. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Wiesbaden's Joshua Theodore, left, tries to turn Kaiserslautern's Parker Rose in a 145-pound match in opening-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Theodore won.
Wiesbaden's Joshua Theodore, left, tries to turn Kaiserslautern's Parker Rose in a 145-pound match in opening-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Theodore won. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Stuttgart's Christopher Hernandez has a lock on Shelton Carter's leg in a 145-pound match in opening-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Hernandez went on to beat the Kaiserslautern Raider.
Stuttgart's Christopher Hernandez has a lock on Shelton Carter's leg in a 145-pound match in opening-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Hernandez went on to beat the Kaiserslautern Raider. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Seamus Wade of Naples, front, gets the better of Lakenheath's Malik Shoemaker in a 138-pound match in opening-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Wade won the match.
Seamus Wade of Naples, front, gets the better of Lakenheath's Malik Shoemaker in a 138-pound match in opening-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Wade won the match. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Kaiserslautern's Ian Rowell puts the pressure on Rota's Presley Peters in a 138-pound match. Peters got out of the jam and went on to win in opening-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016.
Kaiserslautern's Ian Rowell puts the pressure on Rota's Presley Peters in a 138-pound match. Peters got out of the jam and went on to win in opening-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Lakenheath's Preston Booth, left, and Stuttgart's Harrison Alton grapple in a 132-pound match in first-round action on opening day of the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Booth won the match.
Lakenheath's Preston Booth, left, and Stuttgart's Harrison Alton grapple in a 132-pound match in first-round action on opening day of the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Booth won the match. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Bit burg's Kurt Nacionales puts the pressure on AFNORTH's Blake Borders in a 126-pound match in opening-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Nacionales won.
Bit burg's Kurt Nacionales puts the pressure on AFNORTH's Blake Borders in a 126-pound match in opening-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Nacionales won. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Stuttgart's Benjamin Fielding, rear, has Wiesbaden's Joey Krapf in his grip on his way to winning the first-round 120-pound match at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016.
Stuttgart's Benjamin Fielding, rear, has Wiesbaden's Joey Krapf in his grip on his way to winning the first-round 120-pound match at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
In a 113-pound match Vicenza's Clay Cashman, top, defeated Baumholder's Marvin Crews in the first day of action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016.
In a 113-pound match Vicenza's Clay Cashman, top, defeated Baumholder's Marvin Crews in the first day of action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Alcoconbury's Joey Wood, right, beat Bitburg's Henry Etheridge in a 105-pound match in first-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016.
Alcoconbury's Joey Wood, right, beat Bitburg's Henry Etheridge in a 105-pound match in first-day action at the DODDS-Europe wrestling championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

WIESBADEN, Germany – A DODDS-Europe wrestling championship can’t be won on Friday. But it can be lost.

That’s the fate wrestlers from across the continent worked to avoid on Friday at Wiesbaden’s Clay Kaserne Fitness Center as the two-day championship tournament opened with four fast-moving preliminary rounds.

The event continues Saturday morning with one last qualifying round, followed by semifinals, fifth- and third-place bouts and, finally, a slate of 14 European championship bouts set to start at 3:30 p.m.

Friday’s early rounds were all about giving oneself a chance to be there at the end.

“Right now I’m just trying to punch my ticket,” Wiesbaden’s Gabriel Charlifue said. “Mentally, I’m just going into things one match at a time and not looking past that at all.”

The tournament held mostly to its projected form, with wrestlers from powerhouses Ramstein and Stuttgart clogging up nearly every bracket on the agenda. The two programs are considered the prime candidates to claim the coveted Division I team title, which Stuttgart has owned two years running, and that points-based battle likely won’t be decided until well into Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, championship hopefuls from outside the Stuttgart-Ramstein axis of power also worked their way through the preliminary masses.

Cole Ronnau, representing new DODDS-Europe participant Munich International, pulled off a string of impressive victories to end the day squarely in contention for the 160-pound title.

At 220 pounds, Kaiserslautern’s Royce Staley and Hohenfels’ Connor Gibson grappled their way to the top of their field Friday.

In addition to his own solo aspirations, Gibson is hoping to lead the Tigers to a successful defense of the school’s 2015 Division II team title. But the senior also has the event firmly in perspective.

“It would be nice. All of us would really like to bring home the championship again,” Gibson said. “But as long as my guys leave here without getting hurt and they all do their best, I’m proud.

“It’s been a good year this year. I’m really proud of myself and my team.”

Things weren’t so pleasant elsewhere. The 182-pound field, already one of the tournament’s thinnest at 10 scheduled wresters, was plagued by a spate of injuries that littered the bracket with forfeits and denied its active participants enough matches to determine a true class hierarchy.

Meanwhile, Charlifue continued his season-long success with four Friday wins a week after a first-place finish at the northern sectional meet.

“I’m really happy with how I’ve been wrestling,” the 152-pounder said. “I’ve been wrestling smart, doing what I need to do.”

Charlifue’s fun Friday was enhanced by the opportunity to perform in front of family and friends. “They kind of take the pressure off,” Charlifue said. “It’s more laid back for me at home.”

broome.gregory@stripes.com

Twitter: @broomestripes

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