Saturday, February 5, 2011
Boise State advanced their record to 10-2-1 (5-0-1 in the Pac-10) and more importantly, continue their push towards perhaps another Pac-10 Championship and a top-notch performance at the Nationals in Philadelphia. Eight seniors responsible for the most accomplished wrestling team in school history were honored prior to the competition: Alan Bartelli, Matt Casperson, Adam Hall, Andrew Hochstrasser, Eli Hutchison, Levi Jones, Kirk Smith and Kurt Swartz all bid adieu to the Bronco faithful that made up one of the largest wrestling crowds ever at Boise State.
The eight wrestlers mentioned above have a combined record of 586-219 over the last four years, a winning percentage of 72.8%. But enough for accolades. The road ahead is daunting for this group if they are to reach their goal of a Top 5 finish at Nationals.
#15 Jones opened the match and was upset by Justin Morrill. Morrill scored a take down in the third period for a 4-2 lead. Jones was able to escape and his riding time advantage allowed him to get into overtime. However, an escape by Morrill in the second OT allowed the Utah Valley wrestler to pull of the 4-3 shocker. A similar result at the upcoming Pac-10 Championships could open the door for Oregon State to once again walk away with the conference title.
Jason Chamberlain did not suffer a similar fate. He put away Josh Wilson 8-3 at 149 pounds to even the match at 3-3. UVU forfeited at 157 pounds rather than put someone in to face Hall, who unfortunately did not get to wrestle on senior night. Kurt Swartz is wrestling well right now for the Broncos and his 5-2 win at 165 pounds enabled Coach Greg Randall’s team to go ahead 12-3. Kurt’s brother (#14 Jake) followed with a 6-4 decision over Brad Darrington. It didn’t come easy however, as Jake trailed 4-3 with just seconds remaining. Swartz tied his match at 4-4 with an escape with 44 seconds left and then scored a thrilling take down in the final three seconds as the crowd erupted.
Smith, the nation’s #1-ranked wrestler at 184 pounds, left no question as he scored a 22-8 major to push the Bronco lead to 19-3. Casperson, who recently entered the national rankings at #20, continued his hot streak with a 3-2 decision over Trevor Rupp at 197 pounds. Another Utah Valley forfeit at heavyweight followed to set up one of the most eagerly-anticipated matches of the night.
#14 Bartelli went against #13 Ben Kjar at 125 pounds. Bartelli held a 1-0 lead after the first two periods, but a Kjar escape and take down reversed the outcome. Bartelli did manage an escape with 1:10 left but could not get the necessary takedown to earn the win. #2 Hochstrasser put his opponent away to finish the match with a 19-5 major decision.
Now, a match that will tell us if this Boise State team is for real. They take on #5 Oklahoma State next Friday in Stillwater. This match will go a long ways in telling us if the Bronco team has what it takes to defeat the best in the nation. And, as I’ve been saying in this blog, it will take more than the Broncos’ “Big Four” that are ranked #1 or #2 in their weight classification. It will take a team effort and more than likely six Broncos that can win individually. A loss wouldn’t be the end of the world, while a win would be huge for their confidence as Boise State prepares for the postseason.
#9 Boise State 32, Utah Valley 6
141 - Justin Morrill (UVU) dec. #15 Levi Jones (BSU) 4-3
149 - #2 Jason Chamberlain (BSU) dec. Josh Wilson (UVU) 8-3
157 - #2 Adam Hall (BSU) win by forfeit
165 - Kurt Swartz (BSU) dec. Jeb Clark (UVU) 5-2
174 - #14 Jake Swartz (BSU) dec. Brad Darrington (UVU) 6-4
184 - #1 Kirk Smith (BSU) major dec. Casen Eldredge (UVU) 22-8
197 - #20 Matt Casperson (BSU) dec. Trevor Rupp (UVU) 3-2
HWT - J.T. Felix win by forfeit
125 - #13 Ben Kjar (UVU) dec. #14 Alan Bartelli (BSU) 3-2
133 - #2 Andrew Hochstrasser (BSU) major dec. #13 Flint Ray (UVU) 19-5
149 - Avery Garner (UVU) dec. Eli Hutchison (BSU) 5-4
#15 Boise State has finally made a bit of a move on the national scene. With a convincing 196.176-189.175 victory over Cal State Fullerton last night in Taco Bell Arena, the Bronco gymnasts evened their season record at 3-3. Although they have ambitiously gone through a vigorous non-conference schedule, teams hoping to qualify for NCAA Nationals sure better have a winning record on the season.
Coaches Tina Bird and Neil Resnick have assembled on paper what could be the school's top team in history. What is yet unseen if this senior-laden group can make the push necessary to be able to compete with the nation's elite teams. Last night went a long way towards taking that step. That said, it was a home meet. To be an elite team (and the Bronco football and wrestling teams know this) you have to get it done on the road, even against other elite teams.
Last night's heroics were part of the annual Beauty and the Beast promotion, in which the Bronco wrestling team also won convincingly. For
As one might expect with a lopsided score, Boise State won all four events and the good news is that they recorded seasonal bests on all four apparatuses. The Broncos compiled a 49.150 on bars, 49.075 on floor,
49.025 on vault and 48.925 on beam.
"We were strong from the top of our lineup to the bottom tonight," said co-head coach Tina Bird. "Each Bronco stepped up and had a great performance. Hannah Redmon had a stellar night, as did Amy Glass. It was great to add Hailey Gaspar back in the lineup, she had a great night as well."
Boise State's Glass and Redmon were terrific. Glass set a career-high of 39.40 in the all-around (40.00 is perfect.) She also performed her beam routine with brilliant precision, setting a career-best of 9.925 there to win that event. What Glass did not do, Redmon was there to win the other three events. Redmon tied her career-best of 9.925 on the floor, tying her uneven bars best of 9.90 and catapulted off the vault for a season-best 9.875.
With her win last night, Redmon broke Julie Wagner's record for all-time career floor wins with 18. Hannah's vault win now gives her 17, tying her for second, and her eight bar wins is now tied for #6 all-time.
Glass improves to nine career all-around wins, good for No. 5 on
Glass and Hailey Gaspar were right behind Redmon on the floor with 9.850 each. Potvin-Green scored a new career-best of 9.850 to place second on bar, while Glass claimed third with a 9.825. Katie Tuller tied a career-best of 9.80 to place fourth, Kelsey Lang placed second on the beam with a 9.825. Black placed second on vault with a career-best 9.825. Glass tied with CSUF's Alaina Baker for third, scoring a 9.80.
Glass captured the all-around title, while CSUF's Baker placed second with a 38.850. The Titan's Shelly Cooper was the only other all-around competitor, scoring a 38.025 for a third-place finish.
Now more on what matters. As good as last night's performance was, it still is a full half a point away from the top scores of both # Team Average Region Conference High 1. 196.906 SE SEC 197.500 2. Stanford 196.550 W Pac-10 196.825 3. 196.075 NC None 196.725 4. 196.060 SE SEC 196.725 5. 195.860 SC Big 196.175 6. 195.850 C SEC 196.825 7. 195.595 W Pac-10 196.625 8. UCLA 195.430 W Pac-10 196.675 9. 195.344 NE Big 195.875 10. 195.188 SC Big 195.600 11. 195.031 SC SEC 195.325 12. 194.925 C MAC 195.475 13. 194.819 NC Big 195.575 14. 194.769 W Pac-10 195.475 15. 194.658 W WAC 195.000 16. 194.658 C Big 195.450 17. 194.594 NC Big 195.250 18. 194.592 SE EAGL 195.150 19. Illinois-Champaign 194.563 SC Big 195.350 19. 194.563 NC WAC 195.750 The Broncos now must take their act on the road and defeat a hard-charging San Jose State team that is mounting a challenge for the best in the Western Athletic Conference. The Broncos will also compete against UC Davis and Seattle Pacific in the quadrangular meet next Friday night.
Thus, the time for Boise State is now. The Broncos must prove to themselves, the judges and the national gymnastics powers that they are good enough to deserve a national berth. To do that, they need to make their move on Oregon State and UCLA right now. You can also see that fellow Western Regional competitor Washington is also ahead of Boise State and in fact the Huskies defeated the Broncos earlier this year in an important dual meet. When the first RQS scores come out, the Broncos must be either ahead or very near OSU and UCLA. I have included the current Top 20 national rankings for review.
As good as last night's performance was, it still is a full half a point away from the top scores of both
The Broncos now must take their act on the road and defeat a hard-charging San Jose State team that is mounting a challenge for the best in the Western Athletic Conference. The Broncos will also compete against UC Davis and Seattle Pacific in the quadrangular meet next Friday night.