PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Boise State redshirt senior Andrew Hochstrasser has earned the chance to compete for a national title in the 133-pound bracket at the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships, Saturday (March 19) night, after earning a semifinal win on Friday (March 18) at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa.
Hochstrasser becomes just the sixth Boise State wrestler ever to earn a spot in the final round of the NCAA tournament, but is the second in as many years. He follows Kirk Smith, who placed runner-up at 184 pounds in 2010.
Hochstrasser, who is the No. 2 seed at 133 pounds, opened Friday's action in the quarterfinal round where he would face No. 7 Bernard Futrell of Illinois. Hochstrasser wasted little time building a lead against Futrell with reversals in the first and second periods to gain a 4-2 advantage after two. In the third he would take Futrell down and score three back points en route to a 10-2 major decision.
With the win Hochstrasser earned a showdown with No. 3 Andrew Long of Penn State in the semifinals, putting him one win away from wrestling for the national title. Long proved to be game, but Hochstrasser was able to build another early lead and hold on late against a Long rally. Hochstrasser scored a 5-1 lead late in the third period, but Long scored an escape and a takedown to narrow the margin. Hochstrasser was able to run out the clock and score a point for riding time to extend his final lead to 6-4.
Hochstrasser will look to join an elite group of Boise State student-athletes in trying to become just the third Bronco wrestler to capture a national championship. As a school, Boise State has celebrated just eight individual NCAA titles ever.
Kirk White (165 pounds; 1999) and Ben Cherrington (157; 2006) own the only two wrestling national championships in school history. The most recent Bronco national champion was Eleni Kafourou, who won the 2009 NCAA Women's Indoor Long Jump National Title.
Hochstrasser's road to the title will be far from easy however, as he will have to go through No. 1 Jordan Oliver of Oklahoma State to do so. This will mark the third meeting of the season between Oliver and Hochstrasser. Oliver won the previous two matches, topping Hochstrasser 8-7 in an exhibition at the All-Star Classic and 5-2 in dual competition on Feb. 11.
"[Oliver] is a great competitor, and he's real slick," Hochstrasser said following the semifinals. "So I'm going to try and shut him down and work my own stuff, make something happen. Feel like if I can make stuff happen, I put him in a different situation than he's been in."
The final round is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. (EST), Saturday (March 18) night and will be broadcast on ESPN HD.
Chamberlain Falls in Semifinals
Jason Chamberlain saw his run at a national championship fall short, Friday night, as the No. 6 seed at 149 pounds suffered a 4-1 loss to No. 2 Frank Molinaro (Penn State) in the semifinals. Chamberlain fell behind 2-1 to Molinaro early after allowing a takedown in the first period. He had no choice but to let Molinaro up as he trailed in riding time but was never able to get a clean shot for a takedown.
Chamberlain opened the day with a dramatic 4-3 overtime win over No. 3 Kevin LeValley of Bucknell in the quarterfinal round. After wrestling to a 2-2 tie at the end of regulation, LeValley took a 3-2 lead with time winding down in the first overtime. Chamberlain would not go away quietly however, as he shot and scored a takedown with just 00:05 left on the clock for the 4-3 win.
With the win Chamberlain clinched All-American honors for the first time in his career. He was unable to keep his momentum going in the semifinals, though, and he now falls to the consolation semifinals. The consolation semifinals will start at 11 a.m. (EST), Saturday morning, and can be seen on ESPNU HD.
Hall Reaches Consolation Semifinals
Adam Hall became the third Boise State wrestler to clinch All-American honors on Friday after rebounding from an upset in the quarterfinals with a pair of wins in consolation action. Hall, who entered the week as the No. 1 seed at 157 pounds, saw his title run come to an end with a 3-1 loss to No. 8 Jason Welch of Northwestern, Friday morning. Welch scored a takedown with just 00:02 left in regulation to stun Hall and send him to wrestleback competition.
Hall showed why he was an All-American in 2010 however, as he rebounded with a decisive victory in his next match against Johnny Greisheimer of Edinboro. Hall rolled to an 11-3 major decision victory over Greisheimer to clinch All-American status for the second straight year, and keep him in the hunt for his second third-place finish in as many tries.
Hall needed a show of heart in his last consolation match of the night as he overcame a 10-4 deficit to No. 11 Walter Peppelman of Harvard for a win by fall at the 4:20 mark. After allowing nine points in the first period, Hall maintained his composure and took advantage when the opportunity presented itself. After scoring a second period takedown he rolled Peppelman to his back and scored the pin to ignite a roar from the Boise State fan base.
Hall will join Chamberlain in the consolation semifinal round, Saturday morning.
Boise State in Eighth-Place in Team Standings
Thanks to three wrestlers earning All-American honors on Friday, Boise State sits in eighth-place in the overall team standings with 52.0 points. This ties the program record for most NCAA All-Americans in one year, as Boise State also achieved the feat in 2000, 2001 and 2003.
The Broncos have remained in the top 10 all weekend and are searching for the top finish in program history this year. Boise State's previous best team finish was 10th in 1999.
Penn State currently leads the team standings with 92.5 points.