OMAHA, Neb. - The Boise State wrestling team enjoyed a strong showing on day-one of the 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Omaha, Neb., as the Broncos advanced four wrestlers to the tournament quarterfinals with six wrestlers in all qualifying for day-two of the competition.
Boise State entered Thursday with seven wrestlers in action. After two sessions at the national tournament the Broncos boast an 11-4 match record. Kirk Smith (2-0), Adam Hall (1-0), Jason Chamberlain (3-0) and Levi Jones (2-0) are all perfect so far.
Smith, the tournament's No. 1 overall seed at 184 pounds, needed all he had to advance through his first two matches, starting with a 4-3 win over Iowa State's Jerome Ward. Smith followed that up with a 6-2 decision against Travis Rutt of Wisconsin in the second round to move on. He is now set to face No. 9 seed Phillip Keddy of Iowa in Friday's quarterfinal round. Smith and Keddy have met once already this year at the National Duals. Smith beat Keddy 3-1 in that match.
Hall enjoyed the easiest day-one route of any Bronco wrestler as he was given a first-round bye at 157 pounds following a forfeit due to injury. The No. 2 seed Hall then met Pac-10 Conference opponent Keegan Davis of Oregon State, who Hall had already beat twice this season. Thursday proved to be no different, as Hall earned a 12-4 major decision win over Davis to move on. Hall will meet No. 7 seed Chase Pami of Cal Poly Friday morning in the quarterfinals. Hall has beat Pami twice this season, including a 5-1 win in the Pac-10 title match.
No. 8 seed Chamberlain won the most matches of any Boise State wrestler on Thursday as he was drawn to open with a pig tail match in the 149-pound bracket. Chamberlain beat David Cheza of Michigan State, 9-5, to open the day. He then beat Brian Stephens of Virginia Tech, 10-2, in the first round. Chamberlain earned his spot in the quarterfinals next with a 5-2 win against No. 9 Kevin LaValley of Bucknell. Chamberlain's toughest test is yet to come, however, as he will square off against No. 1 seed Lance Palmer of Ohio State in the round of eight.
Jones rounds out the group of Broncos that will be appearing in Friday's quarterfinals, after the No. 9 seed went 2-0 on Thursday at 141 pounds. Jones first beat Jordan Lipp of American, 3-1, before beating No. 8 Alex Krom of Maryland, 6-1, in the second round. Jones also meets the No. 1 seed from his bracket Friday in Cornell's Kyle Drake.
Boise State also had two wrestlers advance in consolation action Thursday, as Nate Lee and Matt Casperson rebounded from opening round losses. Lee went 1-1 at 174 pounds on the day after dropping his first match against No. 1 Mack Lewnes of Cornell. Casperson finished 2-1 after dropping his first 197-pound match to No. 1 Jake Varner of Iowa State. Both wrestlers will face a long road ahead in consolation action on Friday, however.
Alan Bartelli was the only Bronco to go winless in this year's tournament as he dropped his first two matches to fall from the 125-pound bracket.
Boise State currently sits in 15th in the team standings with 15.0 points. Iowa leads the way with 34.5 points.
Friday and Saturday's wrestling action will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU. Fans can visit ncaasports.com for results and live stats, and go to broncosports.com for blog updates throughout the weekend.