Bronco Wrestlers Set to Face North Dakota State on Friday

            BOISE, Idaho - The No. 6 Boise State Wrestling team travels to Bozeman, Mont. this Friday (Jan. 15) to compete in the 2010 Battle in the Big Sky, which pits the Broncos in a dual against North Dakota State University. The dual is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Battle in the Big Sky...

            This weekend's showdown between Boise State and North Dakota State, which has been dubbed the Battle in the Big Sky, will double as a fundraiser for a Belgrade, Mont. wrestler who sustained a neck injury on Dec. 21. Wyatt Welch, who wrestled at Belgrade High School, is currently being treated for his injury at Craig Hospital in Denver, Colo.

            50 cents of every ticket sold to the dual, as well as proceeds from a 50/50 raffle, will be donated to the Welch family to help defray the expense of Wyatt's recovery. Tickets for the Battle in the Big Sky are available online at or over the phone at 1-800-325-SEAT.

Last time out...

            Boise State improved its' overall record to 8-1 (1-0 Pac-10 Conference) this past weekend (Jan. 9-10) after going 4-1 at the prestigious NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The Broncos garnered a fifth-place finish in the 16 team field with a 4-1 record.

            The Broncos' only loss of the weekend came at the hands of No. 1 ranked Iowa, 20-12. Boise State rebounded with wins against No. 18 Wisconsin (22-12) and No. 7 Cornell (20-19) to finish the tournament.

National respect...

            With their impressive showing at the National Duals, the Broncos have continued to move up in multiple team rankings. This week Boise State was voted No. 6 in the NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll, the poll and Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine's national rankings. Iowa is No. 1 in all three polls.

            Individually, Boise State has also continued to receive a great deal of attention in the national rankings, as seven different Broncos were ranked in the top-15 for their respective weight class by InterMat. Kirk Smith (13-0) leads the way for the Broncos, as he is currently the No. 1 ranked wrestler at 184 pounds.

            Joining Smith in the top-10 is Adam Hall (17-2), Andrew Hochstrasser (8-0) and Jason Chamberlain (13-7). Hall is currently ranked No. 2 at 157 pounds, while Hochstrasser (133 pounds) is No. 3 and Chamberlain (149) is No. 6.

            Rounding out the group of Broncos in the top-15 is Levi Jones (11-3), Alan Bartelli (19-11) and Nate Lee (8-3). Jones is ranked No. 12 at 141 pounds, while Bartelli is No. 14 at 125 pounds and Lee is No. 15 at 174 pounds.

Looking at the Bison...

            North Dakota State (3-4, 0-0 Western Wrestling Conference) may enter this weekend's dual with a losing record, but the numbers are a little bit deceiving. The Bison have lost four of seven duals to start the season, but three of their four losses came against top-25 opponents.

            NDSU has already faced No. 25 Oregon State (L, 42-0), No. 19 Cal Poly (L, 29-9) and No. 14 Nebraska (L, 33-9). The only mutual opponent NDSU and Boise State have faced is Oregon State, who the Broncos defeated 25-7.

            The Bison are coming off a weekend in which they finished 1-1 in a California road trip with a win against Pac-10 Conference member Cal State Fullerton, 23-12.

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