BOISE, Idaho - The Boise State wrestling team hits the road again this weekend to start the toughest part of the Broncos' Pac-10 Conference schedule, as they will face five conference duals in nine days. The grueling week and a half will kickoff this weekend when the Broncos face three conference opponents in three days.
Boise State opens its' road trip against Cal State Fullerton on Friday night (Jan. 22) at 7 p.m. The Broncos will then travel to Cal-State Bakersfield to face the Road Runners on Saturday (Jan. 23) at 2 p.m. Boise State will conclude the first half of back-to-back weekends in California with a visit to Cal Poly, Sunday (Jan. 24), at 1 p.m.
Looking at the Broncos...
Boise State (8-2, 1-0 Pac-10) enters this weekend looking to bounce back from an upset loss to North Dakota State, 25-22, last Friday (Jan. 15) in Bozeman, Mont. The Broncos did face the Bison with a modified starting lineup that included just four regular starters. Boise State will travel its' regular starting lineup for it's' trio of duals this weekend.
The loss to NDSU did have a significant impact on Boise State's national rankings this week, as the Broncos dropped multiple spots from their previous ranking of No. 6 in three national polls. Boise State dropped two spots by Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine (No. 8), three spots by the NWCA/USA Today Division I Coaches Poll (No. 9) and six spots by intermatwrestle.com (No. 12).
Boise State continues to have numerous wrestlers represent the Broncos in the InterMat individual top-20 rankings. This week the Broncos have top-20 rankings in seven different weight classes, which include four wrestlers being ranked in the top-six for the respective weight class.
Junior Kirk Smith (14-0 overall, 9-0 dual) leads the way once again, as he continues to hold the No. 1 ranking nationally at 184 pounds. Smith is joined in the top-10 by Adam Hall (17-2, 9-0), Andrew Hochstrasser (8-0, 8-0) and Jason Chamberlain (13-7, 5-4). Hall is currently No. 2 at 157 pounds, while Hochstrasser is No. 3 at 133 and Chamberlain is No. 6 at 149.
Levi Jones (12-3, 8-1) was voted the next highest Bronco by InterMat this week, as he is ranked No. 12 at 141 pounds. Alan Bartelli (19-11, 5-4), meanwhile, was ranked No. 13 at 125 pounds. Rounding out the group is senior Nate Lee (8-3, 7-2), who is currently ranked No. 15 at 174 pounds.
Cal State Fullerton...
Cal-State Fullerton enters this weekend with a 2-4 overall record, including an 0-3 start to the Titans' Pac-10 Conference schedule. Their most recent outing was against North Dakota State, in a dual Fullerton lost 23-12. The Titans currently have just one wrestler ranked nationally in the top-20, which is heavyweight Kurt Klimek at No. 16.
Cal State Bakersfield...
The Road Runners are also looking to turn around a slow start to the 2009-10 season (1-4, 1-3). Bakersfield is 0-4 against top-25 opponents, with losses coming against No. 5 Minnesota (28-9), No. 15 Cal Poly (22-18), No. 21 Arizona State (25-13) and No. 18 Oregon State (35-9). The Road Runners do have two wrestlers currently ranked in the InterMat top-20, as Elijah Nacita is No. 14 at 141 pounds and Mitch Monteiro is No. 13 at heavyweight.
Fans will be able to follow Boise State's dual against Bakersfield via streaming typed play-by-play. To follow the Broncos on Saturday visit http://www.gorunners.com/liveEvents/liveEvents.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=13300&KEY=. No registration is necessary; the link will simply become active when the stream begins.
Cal Poly has enjoyed a great turnaround this season, jumping out to a 5-2 overall record (2-0), after a 3-12 finish in 2008-09. The Mustangs are currently ranked No. 16 by NWCA/USA Today, as their only two losses came against No. 3 Oklahoma State (21-13) and No. 10 Oklahoma (27-13). Cal Poly's biggest win of the season came in a 22-15 defeat of No. 17 Missouri.
The Mustangs have three wrestlers ranked in the top-20 nationally, all of which are currently in the top-10. Boris Novachkov (133 pounds) and Filip Novachkov (141 pounds) lead the way for Cal Poly as both wrestlers were voted No. 4 in their respective weight class. 157-pounder Chase Pami has also enjoyed an outstanding season so far, as he is ranked No. 10.
Prior to wrestling Boise State on Sunday, Cal Poly will face Stanford on Friday.