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The Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling team had a rough outing at this weekend’s Joe Vivian Invitational, with only two wrestlers surviving day one of the two day tournament.
Los Alamos took a good portion of its team down to the tournament in Albuquerque, but picked up just eight wins total, half of those by Desmond Fellers and three more by Cory Geyer.
The Joe Vivian Invitational is one of the largest tournaments held in the state. This season, 34 teams from all around New Mexico took part. Wrestlers looking to make a name for themselves prior to the state tournament — now only about a month away — can do so with a good showing at Joe Vivian.
Hilltopper head coach Bob Geyer said he knew it was going to be tough for his team to make a run at the tournament, most brackets of which included two or more previous state champions.
The main idea for taking part was to get his younger wrestlers used to the idea of competing at a large tournament prior to entering the state tournament.
For the Hilltoppers, only Fellers, Cory Geyer and Alyc Montoya earned victories in the field.
“Other than that, we went 2-and-out,” coach Geyer said. “Jodi (Cull-Host) had the No. 3 seed right off the bat…Alyc started with a Manzano kid that placed second at state last year. That’s how a lot of the brackets were.”
Los Alamos went to the tournament without the services of Brian Geyer, who has been their best wrestler in recent weeks. He injured his knee during practice Thursday and will have to sit out until he’s cleared to go by athletic trainer Mick Matuszak.
Fellers, whose season got off to a late start, started to return to old form with a solid showing at the tournament, earning four victories. Fellers actually lost to the same wrestler twice during the tournament, once in the opening round and once in the consolation round.
Cory Geyer had a solid showing as well, but fell victim a couple of times to cradle pin attempts, something coach Geyer said they will work on the defense for in practice this week.
Despite the rough going and some early exits, coach Geyer was generally pleased with the effort.
“Some of them really stepped up,” he said. “Nobody quit….In a year or two we’ll have a couple of wrestlers into the consolation finals.”
Los Alamos, in the midst of a busy month, will be slightly busier. Its only open date between now and next month’s state tournament was filled when it accepted an invitation to this weekend’s Aztec Duals.