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Heading into the Aztec Duals Saturday, the Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling team thought it might be in for a rough outing.
However, despite being short-handed, Los Alamos still picked up three duals victories and earned a fifth-place finish.
Early Saturday, Los Alamos, which took only eight wrestlers to the meet, dropped a 45-34 decision to Bloomfield to open the tournament, but bounced back to beat Farmington 36-30.
Based on head-to-head bouts, Los Alamos would’ve topped Bloomfield as well – the score in contested bouts was 34-9 – but because many of the younger Hilltopper wrestlers were competing in a tournament at Atrisco Heritage, the team was giving up forfeits in several different weight classes. Los Alamos was also without Isaac Koh, who was coming off a big win at Capital last week, with Koh out sick.
Hilltopper head coach Bob Geyer said he was expecting the duals to be rough – in addition to being short-handed, the tournament also featured some of the top teams from the Four Corners area – but the wrestlers he brought with him were up to the challenge.
“It’s not as bad as I though it was going to be,” Geyer said. “We’re wrestling good…if I had to pick a MVP today, I don’t know if I could do it.”
Against Bloomfield, a Class 4A opponent, Ben Mitsunaga, Brian Geyer and Diego Madrid all scored pins.
In that match, Cory Geyer at 152 pounds won when Mike Loy was disqualified. Loy is a top competitor in Class 4A, but Geyer’s win over Loy gives him a legitimate claim to the No. 1 overall individual seed when the state tournament bracket is announced next month.
Later in the day, Cory Geyer, moving up to 160 pounds, lost in the dual contest against Cleveland. He finished the day 4-1.
Against Farmington, Mitsunaga won by pinfall, while Lane Saunders earned a 7-4 decision and Brian Geyer grabbed a 9-4 victory.
Madrid finished a perfect 5-0 Saturday, while Saunders, Mitsunaga and Jonathan Schueler all went 4-1. Brian Geyer went 3-2, as did Chandler Lauritzen, while Peter Brewer finished with a mark of 2-3.
Los Alamos also knocked off Shiprock in pool competition, 49-12, before falling to Class 5A Cleveland 49-18. In the fifth-place contest, the Hilltoppers defeated the Cleveland junior varsity.