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Wrestling: Toppers get tough draws at Piedra Vista

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By Mike Cote

The Los Alamos Hilltopper varsity wrestling squad got some rough first-round draws Friday in the Piedra Vista Invitational.Kory Nelson, Zak Wilde and Eric Carlson all drew seeded wrestlers to open the tournament Friday in Farmington and all three fell in tough bouts.All four of the Hilltoppers in varsity competition were still alive heading into day two of the tournament Saturday. More information will be in the Monitor later this week.Los Alamos was heading into Saturday’s competition trying to get through the consolation bracket.“We drew tough seeds in every weight class,” Los Alamos head coach Eric Sorenson said. “That was tough.”Nelson, wrestling at 125 pounds, drew Zack Castillo of Bloomfield, the top-seeded grappler in the weight class. Nelson dropped that bout and was scheduled face Chris Nolton of Aztec Saturday morning.Wilde, at 152 pounds lost a tough contest to Niko Sullivan of Bloomfield Friday to fall into the consolation round heading into Saturday.In the heavyweight bracket, Carlson met Casey Casaus in the first round, losing by fall. He was scheduled to wrestle Española Valley’s Ryan Gurule in his first consolation bout.The only Hilltopper to advance in the championship bracket Friday was 189-pound Blaine Lattin.Lattin earned a 16-3 major decision over Julius Begay of Aztec to open Friday, then pinned Kirtland Central’s Joseph Cason in the second round before falling to top-seeded Jesus Moreno of Piedra Vista.Lattin hung with Moreno throughout, but Moreno eked out a 4-3 victory.It’s often tough mentally to go through the consolation round, but Sorenson didn’t think his team would have that problem.“Everybody realized what happened, having the tough draws,” he said. “Mentally, they’re ready to go; ready to take third place.”