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Wrestling: LA has another good mat outing

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By Mike Cote

The Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling team grabbed a pair of team wins this weekend, facing off against six teams at the Duals in the Desert Invitational.Los Alamos topped both Roswell and Ruidoso Saturday, plus earned a 24-24 tie with Bataan Military Academy Friday at the two-day event, held in Deming. The ‘Toppers nipped Roswell’s Coyotes 34-33, picking up four pins and a major decision in that dual, then grabbed seven wins in seven head-to-head bouts against Ruidoso’s Bear, picking up a 43-30 decision.“On the mat, we’re doing well,” Hilltopper head coach Eric Sorenson said. “We’re still missing a few weight classes. It’s tough to stand up in team competition.”Blaine Lattin, wrestling at 189, went a spotless 7-0 at the meet, upping his season record to 27-4. Lattin has emerged this season as a contender for the individual state title in his weight class.Lattin earned the only mat win for the Hilltoppers against Deming, which beat Los Alamos handily, 56-12. In that bout with Robert Apodaca, Lattin got in some early trouble and nearly ended up on his back in the first period, but he rallied to score a fall.Sorenson said several of his grapplers had strong outings this weekend. Freshman Kameron Sanders earned a major decision over Ruidoso’s Skye Franklin, which Sorenson said was even more impressive because Franklin used some underhanded tactics in the bout.“He wrestled smart,” Sorenson said. “(Sanders) beat him with good technique. It’s nice he could keep his composure when the other kids was being very unsportsmanlike.”Heavyweight Eric Carlson had a solid weekend as well, going 4-3 in seven contests. Carlson earned two pinfalls Saturday, one against Roswell’s Marshall Foster, who beat Carlson earlier in the season at Capital.Paul Martinez at 112 pounds earned a pair of wins Saturday, including a 5-4 victory over Matt Randall of Ruidoso, a bout that went into three overtimes before Martinez earned an escape to take the win.Los Alamos is at home Wednesday for one of just two home competitions of the season.