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Wrestling: LA has rough outing at Bernalillo

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By Mike Cote

Wednesday’s triangular at Bernalillo didn’t go the way the Los Alamos Hilltopper varsity wrestling team was hoping.“It’s been better,” Los Alamos head coach Eric Sorenson said.The Hilltoppers lost both ends of the triangular, to Española Valley’s Sundevils and Bernalillo’s Spartans. More troubling, however, was the loss of two starters to injuries.Los Alamos’ 125-pounder Kory Nelson suffered a freak ankle injury in his first bout of the day to Española Valley’s Dino Gipson.Gipson went for a shot on Nelson in the second period when Nelson’s knee gave way and his leg was hyperextended.Also going down against the Sundevils was 119-pounder Eric Neff, who strained his neck against Ramiro Ponce de Leon. It was the first varsity bout of Neff’s career.Española Valley, at this point probably the team to beat for the District 2AAAA championship, knocked off Los Alamos 42-12. Bernalillo beat Los Alamos 36-18, although Los Alamos went 3-2 head-to-head on the mat.The top wrestlers of the day for the Hilltoppers were Zak Wilde at 152 pounds and Blaine Lattin at 189 pounds. Both Wilde and Lattin won both of their contests Wednesday by fall.Wilde actually could’ve taken a forfeit against Bernalillo, but moved up a weight to wrestle Lance Trevorio at 160. He scored a first-round pin against his heavier opponent.“Zak wrestled very nicely (Wednesday),” Sorenson said. “He looked pretty good.”Lattin defeated Joe Calabaza and Calem Aguirre, both of Bernalillo, Aguirre in an exhibition bout.Outside of Lattin and Wilde, however, it was a tough day for the team.Brandon May dropped both his contests at 145, although Sorenson said he performed well against Bernalillo’s Frank Ceja, that after his loss to Mariano Montoya of Española Valley.Gary Thorne fell to past state champion for the Sundevils, Don Medina, in his first contest, but knocked off Aguirre in an exhibition bout at 171 pounds.Eric Carlson, a senior who is wrestling for the first time this season, struggled in two losses, those coming against Española Valley’s Amos Maestas and Bernalillo’s Charlie Johnson.“Some of our guys are young or green,” Sorenson said. “We have more work to do, but the seasoned wrestlers are looking good.”Sorenson said the big thing his team will need to focus on in its upcoming contests is simply taking it easy and not trying to do too much too fast.Los Alamos will make sure it’s “slowing things down” at Bernalillo, Sorenson said. “We’re making sure we’re more methodical with all our kids.”The extent of Nelson’s and Neff’s injuries weren’t yet know, although neither appeared to be season-ending. Nevertheless, Sorenson said he wasn’t planning to take any chances with his injured wrestlers with nearly two months to go before the state Class AAAA tournament.