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It was a mixed bag for the Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling team Saturday at the Moriarty Invitational.
While Los Alamos had some solid performances at the multi-team dual meet, hosted by Moriarty’s Pintos, those were coupled with some rough outings against a strong field.
“It was tough,” Los Alamos first-year coach Bob Geyer said. “Every time there was pretty good. We got a few wins, but we didn’t wrestle that great.”
The Hilltoppers, in their first outing since the Tucumcari Rattler Invitational Dec. 19, failed to win a team dual at Saturday’s event in Moriarty. The Hilltoppers were edged out by Santa Fe in pool play and gave Piedra Vista a scare in a consolation round event, but took it on the chin against Cibola and Moriarty’s Pintos.
Freshman Corey Geyer, wrestling at 135 pounds, had a big outing for Los Alamos Saturday, winning all five of his contests on the day and Gary Thorne, returning from a non-wrestling injury suffered during the preseason, made his debut for the team, going 4-1 in five bouts.
Thorne, the lone senior on a very young Los Alamos team, earned two pinfalls, one against Santa Fe and one against Piedra Vista, in his return to the 171-pound weight class.
The day started out slowly for Los Alamos, which was thumped by Moriarty. Moriarty, a possible state team title contender in Class AAAA, grabbed a 69-3 victory with Geyer posting Los Alamos’ only victory.
In its second pool play dual, Los Alamos hung with Santa Fe, losing that contest 36-34. Jonah Katz, John Gibson, Diego Madrid and Thorne all earned victories for the Hilltoppers against the Demons.
Following the contest against Santa Fe, Los Alamos once again struggled. Cibola, a Class 5A school, thumped the Hilltoppers 72-12.
In their final dual of the pool round, Los Alamos fell to Albuquerque 45-36, although only Thorne and Desmond Fellers at 152 pounds won on the mat.
Thorne, Madrid and Clint Adams all scored pins for the Hilltoppers in the consolation round against Piedra Vista, while Geyer and Brian Geyer each picked up victories. However, those wins weren’t enough for the Hilltoppers to get past Piedra Vista’s Panthers, who took the contest 42-36.
Coach Geyer said the finish was actually a little better than he was expecting following the long layoff, but there is still plenty of work to do before the District 2AAAA tournament, which will be held in just over a month.
“We lost some that we just missed,” he said. “We weren’t moving. We weren’t putting moves together. We’ve got to go back to the drawing board.”
Albuquerque Academy, Capital and Rio Rancho’s junior varsity — which could contend with most varsity programs in the state — are scheduled to make an appearance at Wednesday’s Los Alamos Quadrangular. Taos may also attend but hadn’t confirmed as of Saturday night.