BOISE, Idaho - Boise State will send eight wrestlers to Reno, Nev. this Thursday (Dec. 18) for the 27-team, Reno Tournament of Champions. The Broncos (7-1, 1-0 Pac-10) are traveling with a small line-up due to finals week and the coaching staff's concerns for resting the student-athletes.
?The National Duals [Jan. 10-11] are really what we are concentrating on,? Boise State Head Coach Greg Randall said Tuesday, about leaving most the starting lineup at home. ?We?re trying to get the whole team back for that. We?re close to getting everybody back, but it?s just too risky right now.?
Nate Lee, a junior from Payson, Ariz., will be the only Bronco starter competing in Reno this week. Lee started the season 4-2 at 174-pounds before missing the past month recovering from injury. Lee is a two-time NCAA National qualifier and was the 2008 Pac-10 Conference champion.
?He?s been out, but he?s cleared to wrestle and he?s 100-percent,? Randall said. ?He hasn?t wrestled since the Cowboy Open, so it will be nice to see him getting some matches in and see how he does.?
Also set to wrestle for the Broncos this Thursday is Alan Bartelli (125-pounds), Brad Perry (141), Brad Muri (157), Levi Holt (184), Jacob Neumann (197), Ryan Allen (197) and Chris Givens (HWT). Bartelli is the most experienced wrestler of the group, compiling a 10-8 record this season, including an 8-4 tournament record.
Coach Randall said he expects the RTOC to be a great learning experience for his team as the tournament field is scheduled to include two top-25 teams, Oklahoma State and Edinboro. According to the Dec. 9 USA Today/InterMat/NWCA Division I team rankings; OSU was tied with Boise State for No. 13, while Edinboro was No. 17.
The Broncos are also expected to see eight Pac-10 opponents at the RTOC. According to the tournament web site, UC Davis, Cal State Bakersfield, Cal Poly, Cal State-Fullerton, Arizona State, Stanford, Oregon State and Portland State will all be competing in Reno.
RTOC competition is scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m. (PT) on Thursday and will conclude with the championship matches finishing at 8:30 p.m. (PT)