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Hilltoppers roll past Sartans in home opener

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Wrestling: LA wins 7 of 10 head-to-head contests, takes dual 64-16

By Mike Cote

So far, so good for the Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling team.
Following up on a solid finish against some top teams from around the region last weekend, the Hilltoppers were dominant against the St. Pius X Sartans at home Wednesday.
Los Alamos earned two pins and a major decision in its first four head-to-head contests against St. Pius, setting the tone for a big 64-16 victory at Auxiliary Gymnasium. Los Alamos earned six pinfalls Wednesday, including 106-pounder Mateo Cardiel, who needed just 20 seconds to stick St. Pius Chris Barger.
It was the biggest Hilltopper victory in several seasons and the biggest under head coach Bob Geyer.
“The whole team looked pretty good,” Geyer said. “I’m pretty happy with it. We’ve got to fix some things, putting deep half-nelsons, putting that arm behind, but that’s about it.”
This season, the Hilltoppers are featuring a full slate of wrestlers, something they haven’t seen very often since the mid-1990s. The Hilltoppers were the beneficiaries of four forfeit contests against St. Pius – the vast majority of the time in the recent past, it had been Los Alamos giving away weight classes.
But even on the mat, the Hilltoppers won handily, taking 7 of the 10 head-to-head bouts, including pins by Cory Geyer, Diego Madrid, Jonathan Schueler, Lane Saunders, Cardiel and Arnoldo Ortiz in his first career bout.
Schueler, just two events into his high school career, has already proven to be a boon for the team. A freshman who weighed in at 203 Wednesday, pinned St. Pius’ Noah Griego, a legitimate heavyweight, in the third period of their contest.
Griego took a 3-2 edge after the first period and scored a reversal midway through the second period, starting off the bottom, and appeared to be wearing Schueler down when Schueler got underneath him.
But Schueler, staring the third period on the bottom, got a reversal with about 1:12 remaining. He cinched up Griego’s arm and got him on his back to earn the win.
Schueler said because he’s giving up so much weight to his opponents – Schueler could actually wrestle at 220 pounds but Madrid has laid claim to that weight class, while heavyweights can go up to 285 – he’s got to work smarter, and harder.
“I get psyched up, I get an adrenaline rush,” he said. “That’s the only way to beat them and to be at the top of my game. It’s how much energy I’m shelling out.”
Also earning wins for the Hilltoppers Wednesday was Ben Mitsunaga, who bounced back from some first period trouble against Johnny Serna to win 15-2.
At this weekend’s Southwest Duals at Rio Rancho, Los Alamos finished 14th among a tough field, which included teams from Texas, Arizona, Colorado and even Kansas. Los Alamos actually finished four spots better than its District 2-4A rival, Española Valley, which had won four straight district titles until its streak was broken by Santa Fe last season.

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Los Alamos 64, St. Pius X 16

145 – Ben Mitsunaga, Los Alamos, d. Johnny Serna, 15-2

152 – Cory Geyer, Los Alamos, p. Nick Sapien, :47.

160 – Mitchell Skroach, St. Pius, d. Isaac Koh, 10-4.

170 – Brian Geyer, Los Alamos, forfeit.

182 – Arnoldo Ortiz, Los Alamos, p. Derek Vigil, 1:27.

195 – Timothy Sanchez, St. Pius, p. Grant Washburn, 1:16.

220 – Diego Madrid, Los Alamos. p. Pete Mora, 1:09.

285 – Jonathan Schueler, Los Alamos, p. Noah Griego, 5:12.

106 – Mateo Cardiel, Los Alamos, p. Chris Barger, :20.

113 – Ty Snyder, Los Alamos, forfeit.

120 – Dakota Ami, Los Alamos, forfeit.

126 – Alyc Montoya, Los Alamos, forfeit.

132 – Joey Tellez, St. Pius, p. Chandler Lauritzen, 3:46.

138 – Lane Saunders, Los Alamos, p. Ruben Trujillo, 1:05.