LEWISBURG, Pa. – After finishing third in the 141-pound weight class at the prestigious Ken Kraft Midlands Championships, Tyler Smith was recognized as the Bison Athlete of the Week.
Smith went 5-1 at the two-day event, which was held Dec. 29-30. Four of the senior's victories came against wrestlers from ranked teams, including two from No. 7 Iowa.
Smith, who was slotted No. 13 in the most recent InterMat rankings, clinched his bronze medal with a 10-4 victory over Purdue's Nate Limmex. That win was also the 90th of his collegiate career; the 11th Bison to reach the 90-victory plateau, his .726 career winning percentage stands 12th in school history.
Smith rolled to the championship bracket's semifinals, scoring one win by fall and one by major decision. His lone loss came by a tight 5-4 decision to No. 20 Mason Smith of Central Michigan.
Smith was previously named the Bison Athlete of the Week on March 9, 2015 following his third-place effort at the EIWA Championships. He entered that event as the fifth seed and captured his bronze medal with a 9-8 overtime win over Drexel's David Pearce.
Smith is the second-straight wrestler to be honored as the Bison Athlete of the Week. Nick Stephani earned this weekly accolade on Dec. 18 for his role in the wrestling team's 20-16 victory over Pitt.
With Smith's recognition, the wrestling team became the first in 2017-18 to win back-to-back Bison Athlete of the Week awards. Last year, the men's water polo (Rade Joksimovic on Sept. 18 and Sept. 25), women's basketball (Kaitlyn Slagus on Dec. 18, Claire DeBoer on Jan. 2) and baseball (Mike Castellani on May 14, Sam Clark on May 21) squads accomplished this feat.
Smith and the wrestling team returns to the mat on Sunday, Jan. 7 with a 2 p.m. dual at Navy.