BOISE, Idaho -- The Boise State wrestling team will travel to the University of Wyoming’s Cowboy Open Saturday (Nov. 15) for its first tournament of the 2008-09 season. The Broncos enter the tournament 3-0 and ranked No. 14 in the nation (USA Today/InterMat/NWCA) after three road wins at the start of November to open the season.

            Boise State has become a regular at the Cowboy Open in recent years and will look to repeat its success from last year when the Broncos captured one title and four runner-up finishes in the double-elimination tournament. Head Coach Greg Randall will send over 20 wrestlers to the tournament, with six or seven of them competing unattached.

            “I think it just gives us some matches,” Randall said. “I think we get in better shape because of the high altitude. It’s kind of a shock to our wrestlers to see what kind of shape they are really in. So it’s kind of a conditioning wake-up call.”

            Randall plans on using tournaments like the Cowboy Open to help solidify the Broncos’ starting line up for the season. Despite having eight wrestlers currently ranked in the USA Today/InterMat/NWCA top 20 for their respective weight class, Randall says at this point his starting rotation is far from set.

“That’s one reason why we go to this tournament,” Randall said. “Most schools have wrestle-offs. I’m not a firm believer in wrestle-offs. I like to see how they do in competition. Normally what we do is, if [two of our wrestlers] meet in the tournament, we count that as a wrestle-off.”

Boise State enters the weekend with seven of its’ wrestlers currently ranked 11th or higher. Sophomore Kirk Smith (184-pounds) leads with way with a No. 5 ranking, while junior Nate Lee is currently ranked 8th at 174-pounds.

Andrew Hochstrasser (133) and Brent Chriswell (197) are both currently ranked 9th in their respective weight classes. Rounding out the group is Adam Hall who is ranked 10th at 157-pounds, while Cory Fish (141) and Tyler Sherfey (165) are both currently ranked 11th and senior Nick Smith ranks 18th at 285-pounds.

The Broncos expect a very competitive tournament this weekend with Pac-10 conference opponent Stanford, the Air Force Academy and Wyoming being three of the most notable teams scheduled to wrestle at the Open.

 “Last year was the year that we did really well and we’ve got our whole team back,” Randall said. “So hopefully we’ll go down there and get quite a few guys in the finals and maybe even have two guys in the finals at one weight.”

Boise State will host its first home dual of the season at 7 p.m. next Wednesday, Nov. 19, against Utah Valley State.

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