It took quite a while from Boise State's first conference championship this year (football) until it's second (men's outdoor track & field). But it only took two more days until the Broncos won their third.
No less than six individuals won championships as the Boise State wrestling team thoroughly dominated the rest of the Pac-10 Conference en route to their second consecutive league championship in Fullerton, California. The Broncos scored a record 172.5 points to boot, shattering the old mark of 155 set by Cal State-Bakersfield. Oregon State finished second with 128 points followed by Bakersfield with 124.5 points.
Andrew Hochstrasser, Jason Chamberlain, Tyler Sherfey, Nate Lee, Kirk Smith and Brent Chriswell all won titles in their respective weight divisions as Coach Greg Randall's squad put on a clinic. All 10 Bronco wrestlers either made the championship finals or the consolation finals last night, which also could be a record.
This is the fifth time in the last decade that the Broncos have won the Pac-10 title, with trophies already received in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2008.
All six individual champions as well as Adam Hall, have automatically qualified for the upcoming NCAA National Championships in St. Louis March 19-21. Hall finished second at 157 pounds last night. Three Broncos who finished fourth (Cory Fish, Bryan Owen and Sam Zylstra) will have to wait until March 11 to learn their fate when NCAA at-large positions are announced.
Lee and Chriswell achieved the remarkable feat of winning their second straight titles. Lee downed Eric Starks of Arizona State 5-2 in the championship final at 174 pounds last night. Chriswell was the Pac-10 champion at 184 pounds last year for Arizona State and in a thrilling match, outpointed highly-regarded Brandon Halsey of Bakersfield in two overtimes 4-2 to capture his second title.Pac-10 Champion sounds especially sweet to Sherfey and Smith, who finished runner-up in last year's Tournament. Sherfey was second at 157 pounds a year ago before moving up to the 165-pound classification for his senior year and taking top honors with a 4-1 win over Stanford's Nick Amuchastegui. Smith was defeated at 184 pounds by Chriswell last year, and rode his way to victory in a 2-1 decision last night over Riley Orozco of Bakersfield. Hochstrasser's achievement was remarkable as well, since he had been away from collegiate competition for three years (two on a church mission and last year as a redshirt). Hochstrasser outclassed Kelly Kubec of Oregon State 6-1 to win his title. Hochstrasser was third at 125 pounds in 2005.
True freshman Chamberlain downed Oregon State's Heinrich Barnes 6-5 in another great match at 197 pounds.
Owen lost to Marcos Orozco of UC-Davis, 7-3, at 125 pounds; Fish lost to Adin Duenas of Cal State Fullerton, 7-2 in the 141-pound weight class; and Zylstra lost by fall to Ricardo Alcala of UC Davis at the 5:43 mark at heavyweight. The best thing about this team is that only two members are seniors, meaning next year could be even better. Congratulations to the entire Boise State wrestling team and kudos to Coach Greg Randall for his wisdom and expertise in building this great squad!