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The Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling team took 16th out of 25 competing teams at last weekend’s Cardinal Classic tournament.
Los Alamos earned 104 points at the tournament, which was hosted by Las Vegas Robertson, one of the top small-school programs in the state. While the point total wasn’t enough to get the Hilltoppers anywhere near contention for the team title, it was still good enough to put them ahead of three of their four District 2-4A competitors.
The tournament was the next-to-last event of the regular season for Los Alamos, which will host its finale Saturday.
At the Cardinal Classic, Los Alamos’ top wrestler, Brian Geyer, won the 195-pound gold bracket, picking up some big wins along the way, including against Capital’s Jacob Esquibel in the semifinals and Carlos Vega of Silver, a Class 3A state title contender, in the championship round.
Geyer, a defending state champ from last season, topped Vega 10-6 to pick up the win. Geyer had been held out from competition with an illness about two weeks earlier.
“I felt pretty good,” he said. “It was a pretty tough tournament and there were a lot of tough teams there. But I got some head-to-heads (victories) there that I wanted to get before state.”
As a team, Los Alamos placed three wrestlers into the gold bracket. Along with Geyer, John Dermer at 220 pounds and freshman Patrick Irish at heavyweight, who was filling in for regular starter John Dermer, got into the top level of competition, although only Geyer was able to make much headway.
Still, Hilltopper head coach Bob Geyer said Irish’s performance just to get into the top bracket was one of the highlights of the tournament.
Also for Los Alamos, 145-pounder Chandler Lauritzen won in the silver-level bracket.
Chris Romero finished second for the Hilltoppers in the bronze bracket and Reyes Mendez, Nathan Aguirre were third in bronze competition.
The District 2-4A tournament is just two weeks away and Los Alamos is still hoping to scratch out some points to put a scare into Capital, which is tabbed as the team to beat this season.
Capital had a good showing at Las Vegas, taking fourth place in team competition with 274 points.
Piedra Vista, which has been the dominant program in Class 4A for several seasons now, rolled to the team title, grabbing 411.5 points, nearly 110 points better than runner-up Belen, another very good 4A program.
Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Española Valley and Bernalillo took the Nos. 16-19 spots. Santa Fe finished with 97 team points, the closest competitor to the Hilltoppers.