Athlete of the Week: Tyler Smith

Elise Covert, Sports Co-Editor

Following in his father’s and older brother’s footsteps, Tyler Smith ’18 began wrestling when he was five years old. He credits his father for getting him involved in the sport and fueling his love for wrestling.

Smith finished his high school wrestling career with a dominant record of 158-21. A three-year team captain, he won the individual state title as a junior in 2013 and led his team to a state championship as a senior the following year.

That dedication to the sport has continued into the present, as Smith is currently competing in his third season as a member of the Bison men’s wrestling team. He has seen considerable success during his collegiate career, boasting an overall individual record of 69-27, with an impressive record of 22-6 on the season.

Aside from his individual accomplishments, Smith is proud of the success that his team has had in recent years and seems confident in the future of the program. His strong performances have been instrumental in leading the Orange and Blue to a successful season at 9-4 overall and 6-1 in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA).

“Our team’s success has been the same since I arrived at BucknellAs a team we believe in constantly scoring points and the best defense is an unstoppable offense. When our young guys buy into this system, that is when our team achieves its greatest performances,” Smith said.

Most recently, Smith has come out on top of his bouts in many key matches contributing to the wrestling team’s seven match win streak. He significantly aided the team on Feb. 3 against American University, which led them to a commanding 29-4 win. He also had a late-dual pin against his opponent from Penn to complete a Bison comeback in the match on Jan. 27.

This season, Smith is one of three Bison wrestlers to be nationally ranked at 19/13/13. He has also made it into the NCAA tournament in each of his first two seasons at the University. In his first year, he became the first Bison wrestler in the 141 weight class to ever get a bid to the tournament, thanks to his third-place finish at EIWA Championships. Looking forward, Smith says that in his remaining years, his goal is “to achieve all-American honors.” He also hopes for a team win at EIWA Championships during his career.

Smith also emphasized the importance of camaraderie among his teammates, saying that they are able to keep him relaxed and confident about the match ahead and that he performs best when he remains poised.

“Joking around with teammates and trying to make the match as entertaining as possible is what increases my individual performance,” Smith said.

As for his favorite thing about being a member of the Bison varsity wrestling program, Smith remarked that he thrives performing in front of a crowd.

“My favorite thing about being a wrestler at Bucknell is putting on a show for the crowd. When the crowd is large and loud it makes it much more enjoyable to walk onto the mat and perform in front of my peers and teammates,” Smith said.  

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