BOISE, Idaho The Boise State University wrestlers will look to stay perfect in Pac-10 Conference action this weekend as the Broncos are set to host conference opponents Cal State Fullerton, Friday (Jan. 23), and Cal Poly, Saturday (Jan. 24). Both duals are scheduled to start at 5 p.m. in Bronco Gymnasium.
Boise State (11-3, 2-0 Pac-10) enters the weekend with a No. 10 national ranking for the second consecutive week (USA Today/InterMat/NWCA). The Broncos have seven wrestlers ranked nationally in the top-20 for their respective weight class. More importantly, however, they also have five wrestlers ranked No. 1 in the Pac-10 standings.
“There’s going to be some good matches this weekend,” Head Coach Greg Randall said. “We’ve got to win those matches. Being seeded No. 1 [at the Pac-10 tournament], compared to being seeded No. 2 is a big deal. Being No. 1 isn’t an automatic, but it is a lot easier to get to the finals.”
Currently, Boise State’s Andrew Hochstrasser (133-pounds), Adam Hall (157), Tyler Sherfey (165), Kirk Smith (184) and Brent Chriswell (197) hold a No. 1 spot in the Pac-10 rankings. Of the five wrestlers, four of them are currently ranked in the top 20 nationally.
“I think that just means we’re half way there,” Randall said. “I actually believe we can put 10 guys in the finals and break the Pac-10 scoring record. But a lot of it comes down to the seeds that we get.”
For the second consecutive week, Hochstrasser and Smith were both voted No. 4 for their weight class by the USA Today/InterMat/NWCA poll. Hochstrasser, 25-2 (13-1 dual), has been ranked as high as No. 2 this season. Smith (26-1, 13-1) has been ranked No. 4 since Dec. 9 and has been ranked in the top five all season long. He is currently tied for the most major decisions in Division I wrestling this season, as well as tied for eighth in Division I total wins (according to intermatwrestle.com).
Chriswell (4-1, 4-1) enters the weekend ranked No. 5 for the second consecutive week. The sophomore from Port Orchard, Wash. (South Kitsap HS) has wrestled in limited action this season, but is the defending 184-pound Pac-10 Championship, which he won while wrestling at Arizona State last season. Hall (24-3, 12-1) maintained his ranking this week as well, being voted No. 6 for the fifth consecutive poll.
Rounding out the top-20 rankings for Boise State is Nate Lee (9-3, 7-1), Jason Chamberlain (12-6, 5-5) and Sherfey (17-8, 9-4). Lee is currently ranked No. 16 at 174-pounds, while Chamberlain is No. 17 at 149-pounds and Sherfey is No. 19 at 165-pounds.
The Broncos are coming off a big win against conference foe Cal State Bakersfield. Boise State beat Bakersfield 26-12 last Sunday (Jan. 18). The Broncos have just four home duals left this season including the pair this weekend.
A Look at the Opponents:
Cal State Fullerton enters this weekend with an 8-3 dual record (2-0 Pac-10). The Titans two conference duals resulted in a 31-6 win against Stanford on Nov. 21 and a 28-9 win against Cal Poly on Jan. 14. T.J. Dillashaw is Fullerton’s top ranked wrestler. He is currently ranked No. 14 at 133-pounds.
The only opponent in common that Boise State and Fullerton have, before this week, is Wyoming. The Titans lost to the cowboys 15-20 on Jan. 4. Fullerton’s other two losses this season came to No. 12 Missouri, 36-6, and No. 11 Oklahoma, 35-7.
Cal Poly has seen more struggles than success so far this season and will look to regroup this weekend during a tough road trip to Oregon State, Friday, and Boise State, Saturday. The Mustangs are 3-7 this season (0-2 Pac-10). Junior Chase Pami is Cal Poly’s only top-20 wrestler and is currently ranked No. 14 at 157-pounds.
Cal Poly’s two conference losses came against Fullerton and Cal State Bakersfield, 24-10. The Mustangs also faced off against Missouri and Oklahoma earlier this year. Cal Poly lost both duals 36-6 and 35-7, respectively.
“Each team we wrestle, here on out, there’s going to be some big matches,” Coach Randall said. “It’s important to win those big matches because it all has to do with seeding come the Pac-10 tournament.”