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The Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling team finished in seventh place in the Aztec Tiger Duals Saturday.
Los Alamos was third coming out of its pool Saturday at Aztec, which is among the top-performing schools in state history, and finished 3-2 in head-to-head competition.
The performance there was one of the better showings the Hilltoppers have had since coming back from the winter break.
Now, with just two regular season contests remaining – including the Feb. 8 Bryan Sanchez tournament in Los Alamos – the Hilltoppers know exactly what they’re going to have to accomplish to make a run at the district tournament next month.
“We left two varsity kids at home this weekend,” Los Alamos head coach Bob Geyer said. “They’re going to have to step it up. There’s a chance we can win, but the lower weights are going to have to step it up.”
At the duals, Los Alamos topped Kirtland Central, Shiprock and Pagosa Springs, Colo. One of the highlights of the meet was heavyweight Jonathan Schueler topping a previously undefeated heavyweight from Pagosa Springs.
Schueler, who it looks like may be geared up for a good run in the Class 4A tournament this season, went 5-0 at Aztec.
Los Alamos lost duals contests to Cleveland, a very good 5A program, but also dropped a contest to Aztec’s Tigers, a dual Geyer felt his team could’ve won. The Tiger prevailed 44-33.
Also appearing at the duals was Capital, Los Alamos’ main contender in its quest to earn its third straight district title. Geyer felt like his team actually wrestled better against Cleveland than did Capital.
The Jaguars are very strong at the lower weights, however, and the Hilltoppers may be forced to play catch-up with the Jaguars at the district tournament, which is set for Feb. 15.
Individually, Mateo Cardiel at 120 pounds went 5-0 Saturday, as did Brian Geyer at 195 pounds and John Dermer at 220. Chandler Lauritzen at 145 pounds was 4-1 at the tournament, losing only to his opponent from Cleveland, while Lane Saunders was 4-0 at 170 pounds.
“We got some crucial wins,” coach Geyer said. “It was a good performance overall.”