When people find out Mike Mendoza is the wrestling coach at Boise State, often the first question that comes up is: “When is Beauty and the Beast?”
Sure, the movie comes out in March, but what they really mean is the event that began in 2003 where the Broncos’ wrestling and gymnastics teams compete in simultaneous duals at Taco Bell Arena. After schedules conflicted, the event did not take place last year, but it’s back at 7 p.m. Friday.
“It’s definitely a hit here. People love it,” Mendoza said.
Mendoza, in his first season at Boise State, coached against the Broncos at the 2013 event while at Cal State Bakersfield.
For both teams, it will feature rivalry matchups with Mendoza’s team facing Oregon State and the gymnasts going against Southern Utah. Boise State and Southern Utah are tied for No. 11 in the nation with average teams scores of 195.975.
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“The odds of that are like a gazillion to one,” co-coach Neil Resnick said. “So, to have a rival in this event, but also in this circumstance, it’s really exciting.”
The gymnastics team is 14-1 all-time at Beauty and the Beast.
“I think the girls sharing the spotlight, so there’s not as much pressure, it’s a little more fun,” co-coach Tina Bird said. “I think wrestlers and gymnasts, the strength-to-body weight ratio, they have a lot in common.”
Though the wrestlers have struggled in a rebuilding season (1-7), they have been competitive in most duals and have added motivation Friday in trying to win back the Border Axe trophy, given to the winner of the Boise State-Oregon State dual.
“It’s the best thing to have a packed arena. ... It’s even cooler to have another sport competing next to us,” senior wrestler Austin Dewey said. “It’s a big deal. We’re trying to chop some guys in half, I guess. And it’s a big deal for (the gymnasts). They’re not the biggest fans of that team, by any means.”
Beauty and the Beast
- Tickets: $6 (adults), $4 (juniors and seniors), students free with Boise State ID.
- Parking: Free in west stadium lot
- Promotions: The first 250 girls under 12 will receive a foam tiara, and the first 250 boys under 12 will receive a headband. Alumni of both teams will be honored as part of team introductions.