CSUB wrestling bounces back from loss


Photo provided by Luke Smith, CSUB head coach

David Mendoza, Sports Writer

With wrestling coming towards the end of the season, Coach Smith sits down to discuss his views on his team’s performances for the last two tournaments. The Runners travel to Tempe, Arizona on March 5 to compete in the 2022 Pac-12 Conference Championships and then followed by the NCAA Championships March 17 to March 19. When asked about some of the challenges faced this season Coach Smith discussed having to deal with many injuries and not having his starting lineup for every tournament or dual, they competed in. He also shared the difficulties of dealing with COVID-19 this season, seeing how the schedule changed where they would compete and having many teams cancel on him. Although he faced these challenges, he applauded his team for being resilient and adapting to everything they have had to face.  

Now having the bounce back from a tough loss to Oregon State University, Coach Smith says his wrestlers are not dwelling on that tough duel but looking at the mistakes that were made to now correct and show a better version of themselves in Arizona. When asked about his view on his team’s overall performance, it is tough for him to say since they have had to deal with a lot of their wrestlers being out due to injury. However, he has seen improvement as the break has allowed them to come back full strength. He wants to challenge his wrestlers against tough schools like Michigan, Iowa, and others so that when the Conference Championships come around the team will be ready to face any challenge. 

When asked who he would consider his best wrestler or wrestlers he could not name one but a couple wrestlers that he sees making it to the NCAA championship. He mentioned Chance Rich who competes at 133 pounds and Angelo Martinoni who competes at 141 pounds. They are both national qualifiers from last year. He also mentions Albert Urias and Jacob Sieder. Albert Urias competes at 174 pounds and has beat 3 wrestlers that are currently ranked. Also, Jacob Sieder competes at heavyweight and has not lost to any wrestler that is ranked outside of the top 22. Coach Smith sees all these wrestlers named above as capable of punching their ticket into the NCAA Championships.