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The Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling team had a tough draw to start off its 2012-13 season, but came through relatively well.
Los Alamos finished 14th out of 27 teams in the very difficult Southwest Shootout Duals competition this weekend. The Southwest Shootout, which attracts teams from all around the region, is hosted by Rio Rancho High School.
Among those at the tournament were teams from Colorado, Oklahoma Texas and as far away as Kansas. The winner of the Southwest Shootout hadn’t been determined as of press time.
For Los Alamos, it finished fourth in its pool Friday, topping Taos and Rio Rancho Cleveland’s junior varsity team, but losing to Coronado, Colo., Plainview, Okla., and Albuquerque’s Atrisco Heritage.
“We banged pretty good (Friday), but (Saturday), it was kind of a rough outing,” Los Alamos head coach Bob Geyer said. “We didn’t quite go as far as we wanted to.”
Saturday’s tournament was the season opener for the Hilltoppers, who clinched their first district title in nearly two decades last year and who have several returners back for this season.
Los Alamos got the performance it was expecting out of its veterans, who mostly comprise the team’s middle to upper weights. Lane Saunders (152 pounds), Cory Geyer (160) and Brian Geyer (182), all returners this season went a combined 22-2 in the tournament.
Brian Geyer, who had an excellent offseason of training, went a spotless 8-0 on the weekend, while Saunders, a freshman who wrestled with the varsity as an eighth grader last year, was 7-1.
One of the other top showings of the weekend, according to coach Geyer, was Ben Mitsunaga. Mitsunaga moved up to the 170-pound weight class — he’s closer to 152 pounds but was beaten out by Saunders for that spot — went 5-3 despite giving up significant bulk.
There is still plenty to work on, however. Coach Geyer said he wasn’t too thrilled with the execution of some basic moves and he and his staff will have to re-examine some of the things the Hilltoppers are doing in practice.
“We’re not chaining moves together,” he said. “We’re doing a lot of one-move stuff…we’ve got to start using our cradles, we’ve got to start using snap-downs and our shots. We’ve got to start hitting our shots.”