Swartz Earns All-America Honors

March 21, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - In his fourth and final trip to the NCAA Wrestling Championships, Boise State redshirt senior Jake Swartz earned the first All-America honor of his decorated Bronco career.

Swartz lost in the quarterfinals in the morning session at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, dropping to the wrestleback. He won his next match in dramatic fashion, and the three-time defending Pac-12 Champion at 184 pounds advanced to the medal rounds.

"When you work so hard, and you come so close every year, it starts to weigh on you - and sometimes it weighs on you in a bad way," head coach Greg Randall said. "But for Jake to get the monkey off his back this afternoon, and finally earn All-America honors, it's just great. I hope tomorrow when he walks away from this tournament, that he is proud of himself and holding his head high because of what he's accomplished."

After falling to No. 3 seed Gabriel Dean of Cornell in the quarterfinals (11-4), Swartz, the No. 6 seed, dropped to the wrestleback where he would face Ryan Loder of Northern Iowa (No. 15). The two were tied 4-4 in the waning seconds of the third period, and Swartz got a takedown with just five seconds remaining. Loder got an escape, but Swartz held on for a 6-5 victory.

Swartz dropped his next match to seventh-seeded Kevin Steinhaus of Minnesota (6-2), and will now wrestle Saturday for seventh place.

Senior heavyweight J.T. Felix recorded two pins in the morning session, but fell one match short of earning All-America honors.

After falling in Thursday's second round, Felix wrestled a pair of consolation matches in the morning session Friday, winning each via fall. He pinned Patrick Tasser of Pittsburgh in 1:35, then followed with a pin of Oregon State's Amarveer Dhesi in 2:29. Dhesi was seeded 16th headed into the tournament.

Just one win away from earning All-America status, Felix faced No. 11 seed Austin Marsden of Oklahoma State. Leading 3-2 with only a few seconds left in the third period, Felix was called for stalling, sending the match into sudden victory. Marsden got a takedown 23 seconds in, and Felix fell 5-3 (SV).

With the loss, Felix's Bronco career came to a close.

Felix went 87-43 over the last four years, including a mark of 26-5 this season. Included were 20-career pins, 13 of which coming in his final collegiate campaign. This season's mark included three pins at the NCAA Championships.

"For J.T., that was crushing. If he wins that match, he's an All-American," Randall said. "It's going to hurt a little bit, but I am still proud of him for what he's accomplished, and what he's meant to this program. He's got great things in front of him, and this experience at Boise State got him a lot of things - a great education, some great friends, some great memories. And now, all the work he's put in is going to pay off in other ways."

Saturday's fifth session is slated to begin at 9 a.m. (MT), and will begin with the wrestleback semifinals on four mats. The third-, fifth- and seventh-place medal round matches will follow. Tomorrow's morning session will be televised on ESPNU, and every match of the tournament is available on ESPN3.

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