Wrestling: LA tops Jaguars, Tigers at duals meet

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By Mike Cote

With a little more than five weeks to go in the 2008-09 season, Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling coach Eric Sorenson seems to like the position his team is in.

The Hilltoppers had an all-around solid showing Wednesday in their first home appearance of the season, taking two of four duals at Griffith Gymnasium.

Of significance, Los Alamos scored solid victories over Capital (54-24) and Taos (60-0), although Taos brought just five wrestlers to Wednesday's duals meet.

At the contest, Los Alamos also lost to Rio Rancho's junior varsity squad (46-36) and was nipped by Albuquerque Academy (42-39).

Nevertheless, the Hilltoppers are sitting well entering the final phase of the season.

"There were no big mistakes," Sorenson said. "That was nice. We still have a lot to work on. There's 5-1/2 weeks left in the season. Conditioning-wise, everyone's looking good. Everyone's picking up new techniques and using them. We're generally where we need to be."

Some of the Hilltoppers started out the season slowly but are quickly getting up to speed.

Kory Nelson at 125 pounds has recently found his stride. To follow up his best showing of the season last weekend at the Moriarty Duals, Nelson was dominant in all five of his contests Wednesday.

Not one of his five pinfall victims survived the first round. Taos' Max Suazo and Capital's Sammy Gonzales didn't even make it to the 1-minute mark of the opening period — Nelson rolled Gonzales up in just 17 seconds.

Following the duals, Nelson said his new found sense of urgency has gotten him fired up in the last couple of weeks.

"I realize this is my last shot," said Nelson, who is heading toward the tail-end of his senior season. "There's only about a month-and-a-half left. That's really the fuel for the fire … My senior year, I want to go out with a bang."

Nelson's individual effort was one of several big showings Wednesday. Paul Martinez, another senior, earned a pair of falls, also needing no more than about half of the first period to stick Capital's Zeke Rivera and Taos' Matthew Silva.

Martinez said he's been looking for something to get him going this season as well.

"My problem has been not having my head in wrestling," he said. "Lately, the coach and my teammates have been pushing me and pushing me to try harder. That's helped me a lot."

Martinez, also a senior, was one of Los Alamos' top two finishers at state in 2007-08. He and Blaine Lattin at 189 pounds both finished in sixth place in Class AAAA. Martinez lasted longer than any other Hilltopper in the state championship winner's bracket, making it all the way to the championship semifinals.

The gutsiest Hilltopper effort of the day, however, was turned in by 103-pounder Jodi Cull-Host, a freshman.

Cull-Host was struggling just to get through the first period of her second bout of the day against Capital's Christal Ortiz. Not only did Ortiz have Cull-Host on her back, struggling to stay alive, for a large portion of the first period, Ortiz picked up and slammed Cull-Host to the mat with about a minute remaining in the period.

After about 90 seconds of recovery — on which Ortiz was penalized — Cull-Host got back up to finish out the period.

Cull-Host, who was giving up a lot of strength to Ortiz, made up for it by keeping her air better. In the third period, Cull-Host scored a reversal after starting the period working from the bottom, and executed a textbook inside cradle to stick Ortiz at the 4:35 mark.

Freshman 215-pounder Nate Robbins picked up a pair of victories in regular competition, outlasting Nick Sagartz 5-4 to take victory in the Academy dual, and upsetting Rio Rancho heavyweight Hunter Warner in an exhibition.

Lattin, the team captain and Los Alamos' most consistent wrestler this season, needed just three periods to pin his two opponents at 189 pounds.

The Hilltoppers will be sprinting to the finish of the regular season. After two events last week, they will head to their second event of this week Saturday when they take part in West Mesa's Joe Vivian Invitational.

Currently, 34 schools are scheduled to take part in the singles tournament, including some of the top teams in the Albuquerque area.

"It's exhausting, but everyone's working hard in practice," Nelson said of the recent crush of events. "The coaches have stepped up the intensity. It gets tiring, but we're in good enough shape where we can handle it."


Here are the results from Los Alamos' duals Wednesday:

Rio Rancho 46, Los Alamos 36

145 — Sage Evridge, Rio Rancho, pinned Desmond Fellers, 3:32.

152 — John Chavez, Rio Rancho, win by forfeit.

160 — Zak Wilde, Los Alamos, pinned Daniel Gonzales, :37.

171 — Gary Thorne, Los Alamos, win by forfeit.

189 — Blaine Lattin, Los Alamos, win by forfeit.

215 — Nate Robbins, Los Alamos, win by forfeit.

285 — Hunter Warner, Rio Rancho, win by forfeit.

103 — Andrew Cunningham, Rio Rancho, pinned Jodi Cull-Host, 2:24.

112 — Paul Martinez, Los Alamos, win by forfeit.

119 — Adrian Baca, Rio Rancho, pinned Cory Geyer, 4:53.

125 — Kory Nelson, Los Alamos, pinned Jacob Peña, 1:25.

130 — Vincent Padilla, Rio Rancho, win by forfeit.

135 — Dominic Villareal, Rio Rancho, major decision over John Gibson, 16-7.

140 — Calvin Larson, Rio Rancho, win by forfeit.

Exhibition — Robbins pinned Warner, 1:53.

Exhibition — Martinez pinned Anthony Mesa, 1:29.

Los Alamos 54, Capital 24

160 — Wilde pinned Quinton Windham, 2:45.

171 — Thorne win by forfeit.

189 — Lattin win by forfeit.

215 — Robbins pinned Marcus Jaramillo, 1:42.

285 — Brandon Brantz, Capital, win by forfeit.

103 — Cull-Host pinned Christal Ortiz, 4:35.

112 — Martinez pinned Zeke Rivera, :49.

119 — Lorenzo Caraveo, Capital, pinned Geyer, 1:10.

125 — Nelson pinned Sammy Gonzales, :17.

130 — Andrew Lopez, Capital, win by forfeit.

135 — Gibson win by disqualification.

140 — Jesse Sanders, Capital, win by forfeit.

145 — Fellers win by forfeit.

Alb. Academy 42, Los Alamos 39

160 — Wilde win by forfeit.

171 — Will Ganter, Academy, pinned Thorne, :50.

189 — Lattin pinned Ian O’Donoghue, 2:57.

215 — Robbins decision over Nick Sagartz, 5-4.

285 — Stephen Sagartz, Academy, win by forfeit.

103 — Cull-Host win by forfeit.

112 — Martinez win by forfeit.

119 — Adam Tapia, Academy, pinned Geyer, 2:39.

125 — Nelson pinned Case Whisonant, 1:35.

130 — Shane Benally, Academy, win by forfeit.

135 — Nick Kincaid, Academy, pinned Gibson, 1:03.

140 — Jacob Walker, Academy, win by forfeit.

145 — Fellers pinned Andrew Hunt, :49.

152 — Ryan Growney, Academy, win by forfeit.

Los Alamos 60, Taos 0

189 — Lattin pinned Mike Trujillo, 1:05.

215— Robbins win by forfeit.

103 — Cull-Host pinned Joshua Valencia 4:49.

119 — Martinez pinned Matthew Silva, 1:07.

125 — Geyer win by forfeit.

130 — Nelson pinned Max Suazo, :59.

135 — Gibson win by forfeit.

145 — Fellers win by forfeit.

160 — Wilde win by forfeit.

171 — Thorne win by forfeit.