Wrestling: LA wins 2 of 3 home duals

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By Mike Cote

It was kind of a mixed bag for the Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling team in front of its home crowd Wednesday.

In one of its two scheduled home events this season, the Hilltoppers won two of three duals contests Wednesday at Auxiliary Gymnasium, but against District 2AAAA rival Capital, the Toppers lost on the mat despite picking up a 60-48 win.

Los Alamos hosted Capitals Jaguars, Albuquerque Academy and St. Pius X Wednesday. Los Alamos topped Academy 60-33 but fell to St. Pius 48-30 before its victory over Capital in the final team dual of the day.

We did good against Academy and St. Pius, even though against Pius we gave up 24 points off the bat, Los Alamos head coach Eric Sorenson said. Overall, teamwise (against Capital) we won, but we lost four of six on the mat. I thought we couldve taken that.

Los Alamos won four of its six contested bouts against Academys Chargers to open the day, all four by pinfall, then won five of 10 against St. Pius Sartans, the only team to field a full contingent of wrestlers among the four competing squads.

Hilltopper 189-pounder Blaine Lattin needed just a little more than three minutes to knock off a pair of opponents Wednesday, pinning both St. Pius Luke Candelaria and Capitals Luke Garcia. He received a forfeit against Academy.

Lattin has emerged this season as a contender for the Class AAAA 189-pound championship. Sorenson said the Las Vegas Robertson Invitational, which Los Alamos competes at Friday, will be a good test for Lattin as well as the rest of the Hilltoppers to see how good his chances for a top prize at state really are.

Overall, the Hilltoppers seemed upbeat about their finish at Wednesdays meet.

We have to feel good about how we finished, Hilltopper 145-pounder Brandon May said. Now weve got to think about Robertson. This ones in the bag.

Paul Martinez at 112 pounds also picked up two first-round pins to up his record to 12-4 on the season. Martinez joined the squad earlier this month after missing the first part of the season.

Martinez needed just half a period to score a pin against St. Pius Daniel Archederral, and a third of period to stick Cees Whisonat of Academy.

Against Whisonat, Martinez got his arm tugged on. He said his left shoulder bothered him throughout the bout and the bout against Archederral.

After the quad, Martinez said, even with his sore left shoulder he wasnt that thrilled about his contest against Whisonat.

I shot in really bad, Martinez said. I was lucky to swim my head out of his cradle, and I got on top.

Eric Neff at 119 pounds and Eric Carlson at heavyweight also picked up a pair of pins at Wednesdays quad.

It has been a busy past few days for Los Alamos, and will remain busy this weekend when the team heads to the two-day Robertson Invitational, hosted by one of the top programs in the state.

Weve got to look confident going into it, May said. Keep your head up, and go in with winning on your mind.