That Coach Greg Randall's team achieved this
feat without injured heavyweight warrior Sam Zylstra and after a stinging Pac-10 Championships that saw Oregon State knock off the two-time Champion Broncos says a lot for their
character. Kirk Smith just missed
winning the national championship at 184 pounds, finishing second.
Adam Hall captured third place at 157 pounds.
Smith and Hall both earned All-America honors.
That the Broncos were this successful without another nationally-ranked
top-five wrestler, Andrew Hochstrasser, has them wondering what could have been.
Smith entered last night's championship
match with a perfect 28-0 record as the nation's #1-ranked wrestler in his
classification. He was upset by #6
Max Askren of
Smith trailed 8-1 entering the midway point of
the third period before finally getting a takedown for two points.
Askren was able to get a point for escape and a point for riding
advantage for the final count.
Despite the loss, Smith recorded the best
finish at 184 pounds in school history, topping Cash Edwards, who finished sixth
Hall fought through the consolation bracket at
157 pounds to earn his third-place finish after being upset in the national
quarterfinals by fellow Pac-10 Conference rival Chase Pami of Cal Poly.
"[Coming back] was
huge because once my ultimate goal of winning a national championship was over
for this year the next best thing was this," Hall said Saturday night.
"My coaches told me to finish what I started. Coach [Chris] Owens told me
last night, 'hey, people will respect a guy that comes back to take third after
losing like that'. I knew I had to do it."
Hall took on #5 Steve Fittery of American
University in the morning session. A
two-point near fall gave Hall a 6-4 victory.
Hall then scored two takedowns and a two-point reversal for a major 8-0
Smith and Hall's heroics give Boise State 19
individual All-Americans. Smith is
one of five Broncos to win multiple All-American honors, as he also earned All-