Three Broncos Advance to Quarterfinals at NCAA Championships

PHILADEPHIA, Pa. - Seven Boise State wrestlers advanced past day one of the 2011 NCAA Championships in Philadelphia, Pa., Thursday (March 17), as three Broncos reached the quarterfinals while another four are still alive in consolation action to put Boise State in eighth place in the overall team standings.

"We didn't really upset anybody, but we never really were upset ourselves so it was a good day and a bad day," head coach Greg Randall said Thursday night. "But that is the way this tournament plays out. We won a lot of close matches, which actually can worry me a little bit...that we are having those close matches. But if you keep winning them I guess we will be fine."

Andrew Hochstrasser, Jason Chamberlain and Adam Hall each went 2-0 on Thursday to punch their tickets into the round of eight, Friday (March 18) morning. By reaching the quarterfinals all three wrestlers are now one win away from earning All-American status. Hochstrasser and Hall are both looking for the second All-American finish of their careers, while Chamberlain is vying for his first All-America honor.

Hochstrasser was the first Bronco to make his way to the quarterfinal round after entering the weekend as the No. 2 overall seed at 133 pounds. Hochstrasser opened the day with a win by fall (2:26) against Nathan McCormick (Missouri). He kept his momentum going in second round action with a 16-1 technical fall victory over Kevin Smith of Buffalo. Hochstrasser, who was an All-American in 2009, will face No. 7 Bernard Futrell (Illinois) next in the round of eight.

Hall would find his way into the quarterfinals of the 157-pound bracket just a short time later as the No. 1 seed earned wins over DJ Meagher (Cornell) and Colton Salazar (Purdue). Hall began the day with a 4-1 win over Meagher to solidify his spot in the second round. With a shot at the quarterfinals on the line Hall would continue to grind, beating Salazar by 6-2 decision thanks to a three point third period. Hall will meet No. 8 Jason Welch of Northwestern, Friday morning, with the hopes of securing his second consecutive All-American finish at the NCAA tournament.

Chamberlain clinched his spot in the quarterfinal round just moments after Hall, thanks to a dramatic takedown in overtime of his second round match. Chamberlain, who is the No. 6 seed at 149 pounds, cruised into his second match after a 13-4 major decision victory over Dane Johnson of Pittsburgh in the opener.  

His second round matchup would prove to be much more difficult however, as Joseph Napoli forced Chamberlain to a 4-4 tie after three periods. Chamberlain showed patience in the waning moments though, as he scored a takedown with 00:23 left in the first sudden victory period to salvage the 6-4 win. Chamberlain advances to next meet No. 3 Kevin LeValley (Bucknell), who Chamberlain beat 5-2 in the second round of last year's NCAA tournament.

After qualifying all 10 starters to the NCAA tournament, Boise State was represented by just 9 wrestlers on Thursday. Senior Kirk Smith was forced to medical forfeit from the 184-pound bracket due to an injury that he suffered in the regular season finale against Oklahoma State. Smith came into the championships as the No. 11 seed after finishing National Runner-Up a year ago. Smith, a two-time All-American and Pac-10 Conference Champion, concludes his career at Boise State with an incredible 102-12 record.

Despite missing Smith in the tournament lineup, the Broncos did manage to advance seven of its nine wrestlers past day one of the championships. After suffering losses on Thursday, Alan Bartelli (125 pounds), Levi Jones (141), Jake Swartz (174) and J.T. Felix (HWT) all were able to keep their weekend alive in consolation action.

"Hopefully we can keep [those] guys alive and keep them scoring points for us. The longer they stay in the tournament the more points we are going to score and the better chance we will have at bringing home a trophy."

Seniors Kurt Swartz (165) and Matt Casperson (197) were not so fortunate in their opening round matches, as both wrestlers went 0-2 on day one to fall from competition.

After two sessions of wrestling at the NCAA Championships Boise State trails just seven schools in the team standings with 19.5 total points. Penn State currently leads the team title race with 30.5 points.

"We aren't out of it, we just have to keep winning; especially those guys in the back door."

NCAA tournament action will resume, Friday (March 17) morning, with quarterfinals and consolation matches starting at 10:30 a.m. (EST). All of Friday's championship competition will be broadcast on ESPNU HD. The morning session can also be seen on ESPN3.com.  


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