Broncos Head to Cliff Keen Invite

BOISE, Idaho - The Boise State wrestling team will travel to Las Vegas, Nev. this weekend to take a shot against some of the nation's best collegiate wrestlers at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, Friday-Saturday (Dec. 3-4), at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The Broncos (2-0-1 overall, 0-0-1 Pacific-10 Conference) are allowed to send 10 wrestlers to compete in the 36 team tournament. The two-day event will provide a great test for Boise State as the fall schedule winds down, with 10 teams competing in Las Vegas, Nev. that are currently ranked in the top 25 nationally by

The 36 team field is made up of: Air Force, Arizona State (T-No. 12), Boise State (T-No. 2), Brown, Cal Poly, Cal State Bakersfield, Cal State Fullerton, California Baptist, Central Michigan (No. 10), Columbia, Cornell (No. 1), Dickinson, Drexel, Duke, Grand Canyon, Harvard, Hofstra (T-No. 23), Illinois (No. 16), Indiana, Michigan, Navy, North Carolina State, North Dakota State, North Idaho College, Ohio State (T-No. 21), Oklahoma (No. 7), Oregon State, Purdue, San Francisco State, Southern Illinois, UNC Greensboro, Utah Valley, Virginia Tech (T-No. 17), West Virginia, Western Wyoming and Wisconsin (No. 4).

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Last time out...

Boise State hasn't wrestled since the weekend of Nov. 19-21, which was an action packed three days for the Broncos. Boise State sent wrestlers to Greeley, Colo. to face the University of Northern Colorado in a dual on Friday (Nov. 19), and then compete in the UNC Old Chicago Open on Saturday (Nov. 20). Meanwhile, Andrew Hochstrasser and Adam Hall were also representing the Broncos at the NWCA All-Star Classic in Fresno, Calif. on Sunday (Nov. 21).

Boise State kicked off the long weekend with a 25-9 win over the Bears, scoring victories in seven matches. The Broncos carried that success over into the Old Chicago Open where they would capture individual titles in five weight classes. Alan Bartelli (125 pounds), Stefan St. Marie (133), Josh Strait (141), Kurt Swartz (165) and Jake Swartz (174) each won their respective brackets for Boise State.

Sunday proved to be a little tougher for the Broncos however, as Hochstrasser and Hall both dropped their matches at the prestigious All-Star Classic. Hochstrasser, who entered the exhibition ranked No. 1 nationally at 133 pounds by InterMat, would drop his match against No. 2 Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State) by 8-7 decision. Hall, who was also No. 1 at 157 pounds, followed that up with a loss by 12-4 major decision to No. 4 Bubba Jenkins (Arizona State).

Because the matches were exhibitions, the losses do not count towards Hochstrasser or Hall's individual records.  

National Rankings...

Boise State starts December still ranked near the top of every major national poll, including top six rankings in both the InterMat Tournament Power Rankings and the NWCA/USA Today Coaches' Poll. The Broncos are currently tied with Oklahoma State at No. 2 by InterMat with 69.5 points. They trail only Cornell (101.5 points). Boise State is also tied with Iowa for sixth in the coaches' poll. The Broncos began the season ranked No. 2 by NWCA/USA Today.

Boise State does have five wrestlers still ranked in the top 20 individually by InterMat, including four wrestlers voted in the top three for their respective weight class. Senior Kirk Smith still leads the way with his No. 1 ranking at 184 pounds, despite not competing for the Broncos yet this season.

Smith is joined by Hochstrasser, Hall and Jason Chamberlain who also currently have top three rankings. Hochstrasser is No. 2, while Hall maintained his spot at No. 3. Chamberlain is the only Boise State wrestler to move up in the individual rankings this week, jumping up one spot to No. 3 at 149 pounds.

Rounding out the group of ranked Broncos is Levi Jones, who remained at No. 13 in the 141-pound weight class.

Closing in on 100...

Both Smith and Hall are narrowing in on a historic mark at Boise State, as both wrestlers are just six wins away from earning their 100th victory as a Bronco. Smith boasts a career record of 94-10, while Hall is 94-19. Hall will look to edge closer to the century mark this weekend, while Smith is not expected to compete in Las Vegas, Nev.

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