Wrestling: LA places three in JV bracket

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By The Staff

The Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling team pulled down three third-place finishes in the junior varsity bracket of Saturday’s tournament at Del Norte.

Los Alamos put most of its young, inexperienced team into the JV draw Saturday, placing only three wrestlers into the varsity bracket. None of Los Alamos’ three varsity entries survived past the first round of consolation bouts.

Saturday’s tournament featured some solid competitors from around the Albuquerque area, including La Cueva, Eldorado and Los Lunas.

The surprise winner in the varsity event, however, was Class AAAA Volcano Vista. Hilltopper head coach Robert Geyer said Volcano Vista had an impressive showing, picking up a decisive victory.

In the JV bracket, 119-pounder Jonah Katz, 135-pounder Ben Mitsunaga and 189-pounder Diego Madrid went a combined 10-3 in the tournament to grab their third-place finishes.

Interestingly, all of them lost their opening round bouts and had to make their way through the consolation brackets to get to the final round.

In the varsity tournament, Chris Speight, Desmond Fellers and Clint Adams all went two-and-out. Los Alamos didn’t score a single team point in that competition.

Geyer said going into Saturday’s tournament that he was only going to put a few wrestlers into the varsity bracket. Instead, he wanted to see how his younger wrestlers would respond.

“I’m quite a bit happier about (Saturday) than I was about Bernalillo (Wednesday),” Geyer said. “There wasn’t as many mistakes and when we did make mistakes, it was because we were trying to hustle. Now we need to find a happy medium.”

Los Alamos was without some personnel Saturday, most notably 103-pounder Jodi Cull-Host, who was at a Reserve Officers Training Corps event, and 135-pounder Cory Geyer, who was inadvertently kneed just above his eye during Friday’s practice, getting a cut that required 10 stitches.

Los Alamos opened its season Wednesday at Bernalillo, going 2-1 in team competition in what was the first prep event for much of its team.

Geyer said he’s happy to see the progress his team has made in a relatively short period of time.

“With these young wrestlers, the big thing is to learn the feel,” he said. “With different shifts of weight, the feel’s not quite where it has to be just yet…but we’re making the first moves. That’s what we needed to see.”