Boise State Places Fourth, Smith Wins 184-Pound Title, at Las Vegas Invite

             PRIMM, Nev. - The Boise State wrestling team (3-0 overall, 1-0 Pac-10 Conference) enjoyed a successful weekend against some of the nation's top collegiate wrestlers this past Friday and Saturday (Dec. 4-5), as the Broncos placed fourth as a team at the 28th annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in Primm, Nev.

            Boise State, who entered the weekend ranked No. 7 in the NWCA/USA Today Division I Team Poll, placed five wrestlers in the top six for their respective weight class en route to the fourth-place finish. The Broncos tallied 97.5 points. Ohio State topped the 42 team field with 122.5 points.

            Junior Kirk Smith led the way for Boise State, capturing the only individual title for the Broncos at 184 pounds. Smith breezed through his first three matches of the tournament, winning all of them by major decision. In the semifinals Smith needed everything he had to hold off Wyoming's Joe LeBlanc for a 3-2 decision to advance to the championship match. In the finals, Smith completed his title run with a 6-4 decision against John Dergo (Illinois).

            Adam Hall joined Smith in the championship round, after also winning his first four matches at 157 pounds to advance to the title round. Hall opened his weekend with two major decisions and one win by fall, which moved him into the semifinals. In the semis Hall took down Bryce Saddoris (Navy) in a 4-0 decision to earn a match-up with JP O'Connor of Harvard for the title. Hall fought hard in the final round, but fell just short of bringing home an individual title with a loss to O'Connor by 2-1 decision.

            Boise State also managed to bring home top-six finishes in three other weight classes on Saturday, with Broncos earning fourth, fifth and sixth-place finishes in the tournament. Jason Chamberlain took home fourth-place at 149 pounds with a 4-2 record. Chamberlain lost the third-place match in a 2-0 decision against Kyle Terry (Oklahoma) to end his weekend.

            Levi Jones enjoyed the next highest finish for Boise State, placing fifth at 141 pounds. Jones won his first three matches before falling in the semifinal round of the tournament. He would rebound to beat Chris Drouin (Arizona State) by fall (1:42) in the fifth-place match. Alan Bartelli also reached the fifth-place match of the 125-pound bracket, after winning five of his first seven matches. Bartelli dropped a close 4-3 decision to Frank Perrelli (Cornell) in the fifth-place match, however, to earn the sixth-place trophy.

            Boise State returns home this week to host their second of three home duals this season. The Broncos host Montana State-Northern on Friday (Dec. 11) at 8 p.m. in Taco Bell Arena.            

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