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RIO RANCHO — It was a big weekend for the Geyer family.
Older brother Cory Geyer and younger brother Brian were the final two members of the Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling team still alive heading into Saturday’s second round of the Class 4A championship tournament.
The tournament was held at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.
Cory Geyer, at 145 pounds, finished fourth in the tournament, the first Hilltopper to get on the medal stand since 2008. He made it all the way to the championship semifinals unscathed, before running into a buzzsaw in the form of Santa Teresa’s Keith Harding, the No. 2 seed in the 145-pound bracket.
Geyer won his first consolation round bout before getting nipped 2-1 in the third-place contest by Michael De La Torre of Los Lunas.
Grabbing a podium finish was exactly what he’d hoped for, especially after a disappointing 2010 state tournament, something Geyer said gave him motivation to make this weekend’s run.
“Last year, once I got to the floor, I started making some freshman mistakes,” he said. “That happens to you. That happens to everybody. This year, I tried not to make those mistakes.”
At 160 pounds, Brian Geyer had to go the long way to get back into medal contention. Brian, a freshman, dropped his first round contest and had to go through a pair of tough wrestlers to advance to the consolation quarterfinals.
He outlasted Piedra Vista’s Zach Alhgrim 6-5 Friday night, then pinned District 2AAAA foe James Hawks of Bernalillo in the second period of the fourth round to get to the consolation quarterfinals.
Brian Geyer fell in the opening round to Hawks a week earlier at the 2AAAA tournament, where he finished in third place. Saturday, however, Geyer controlled the action virtually from the get-go, out-muscling Hawks and getting him on his back twice in the second period.
In the quarterfinals, just one round away from a shot at a medal, Geyer had a wild bout with Aztec’s Jeremiah Hickman. Geyer reversed Hickman twice in the second period and got him on his back twice to take a 9-7 lead into the final period,
In the third, however, a power move by Hickman got Geyer in trouble early. Geyer couldn’t break Hickman’s grasp and Hickman pinned him with1:29 left in the period.
Teamwise, Los Alamos traveled with six wrestlers to the Class 4A meet. Only the Geyers managed to get through Friday.
The Hilltoppers struggled in the second round of the tournament — all but two of the team’s wrestlers had an opening-round bye.
Ben Mitsunaga at 140 pounds lost a 5-2 decision to Shai Gonzales of Valencia with Gonazles scoring three points in the final 1:39 of that contest. Brian Geyer at 160 pounds dropped an 8-2 decision to Isaac Parra of Los Lunas, a bout Parra led the entire way.
Peter Brewer ran afoul of Moriarty’s Jacob Griego in a hurry at 171 pounds, with Griego scoring a first round pin.
At 135 pounds, another Hilltopper with a shot at getting a medal, Alyc Montoya, suffered an ACL tear in the opening moments of the second period in his second round bout against Matthew O’Toole of Gallup.
“That was a big loss right off the bat,” Los Alamos head coach Bob Geyer said. “Hopefully, we’ll get him back next year. He could be on the podium next year. It’s an unfortunate accident. It’s really a bummer.”
Los Alamos had just two first round contests. At 125 pounds, Chandler Lauritzen couldn’t get much done against Del Norte’s Derek Medina, falling in his opener 13-0.
At 145, Geyer had a tougher-than-expected contest against Valencia’s Jacob Baca.
The two wrestlers grappled mostly to a draw until the final period when Geyer, working off the bottom, pulled off another switch, similar to the one he executed in the first period, the momentum of which put Baca on his back.
Geyer would prevail in his opener, 7-3.
In the team standings, Piedra Vista ran away with the Class 4A title. The Panthers picked up 224 points, finishing well ahead of runner-up Aztec’s 167 total points.
Los Alamos finished with 22 points in 24th place in the team standings.