Boise State wrestling comes up empty against Lehigh

Broncos suffer one of its worst losses, falling 35-6.

ccripe@idahostatesman.comJanuary 27, 2014 

In his more than 20 years on staff at Boise State, wrestling coach Greg Randall can’t remember a defeat like the one he endured Sunday.

The Broncos lost all nine matches to Lehigh in a dual at Bronco Gym, falling 35-6. Boise State’s only points came via forfeit at 197 pounds because Lehigh didn’t field a wrestler.

Randall can’t remember another dual where the Broncos failed to win a match.

“As a team right now, we’re just in a slump,” sophomore 149-pounder Chris Castillo said. “We need to get out of that. We just need to get a little confidence in us.”

The Broncos, usually a solid top-20 team, have lost five of their past six duals and 13 of their past 15 individual matches.

Against Lehigh, the heavyweight (No. 6 J.T. Felix), 125-pound (Rami Haddadin), 141-pound (Brian Owen) and 149-pound (Castillo) matches were up for grabs in the final 30 seconds.

At 165, Holden Packard took a 4-3 lead with a third-period takedown only to allow a reversal and a three-point near-fall in the final 75 seconds.

“It’s tough to watch our guys go out and compete for 2, 3, 5, 6 minutes and then lose it at the end,” Randall said. “That’s not what we’re built around. That’s not what we preach in the wrestling room.”

Castillo, who was wrestling No. 11 Mitch Minotti, fell behind 3-1 on a takedown with 46 seconds left. He escaped and went for the win late, only to give up another takedown.

He said the Broncos are transitioning to a different style based on outlasting opponents.

“I don’t think we’re quite doing that yet,” he said. “I tried doing it. I started wearing my guy down, but it wasn’t enough. I went out there and tried wearing him down, beating him up, almost creating a brawl, just because he’s one of the top guys in the nation.”

The biggest surprise of the dual was the loss by Felix (18-3) to unranked Max Wessell (6-2). Wessell recorded a takedown in the final 10 seconds to seal the 7-4 win.

“There was something wrong with (Felix),” Randall said. “He told me he was worn out 30 seconds into the match. That’s not conditioning. That’s something else. … That’s not like J.T.”

The Broncos are home again Friday against Northern Colorado.

Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat

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