BOISE, Idaho - The Boise State wrestling team took second place at the 2012 Pac-12 Championships, notching 129 points, nine behind champion Oregon State. Brian Owen, Jake Swartz and Brent Chriswell each worked their way through the bracket to finish atop the podium as individual champions.
Chriswell was the lowest seed (No. 3) to win championship and after the event he was given the Most Outstanding Wrestler Award. The championship finish was the third-straight for the redshirt junior who won previously at Arizona State in 2008 and as a Bronco 2009.
The three champions, along with second-place finisher George Ivanov, each earned automatic qualifier spots the NCAA tournament in St. Louis, March 15-17.
Owen was the first Broncos champion of the night, wrestling at 133 pounds. The Spokane, Wash., native entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed and needed three wins to make it through unscathed. He defeated Stanford's Matt Scencenbaugh, 20-9 in the first round before earning a last-second decision against Garrett Drucker in the semifinals. Owen capped off his run with a 4-2 decision over the No. 2 seed Frank Lomas.
Swartz'journey was only two matches long after getting a bye in the first round. The No. 1 seed turned the tide with an athletic pin against Oregon State's Ty Vinson in the semifinals and defeated Boise native Spence Patrick in the finals (5-1) to advance to the NCAA tournament for the second-consecutive season.
The final Boise State champion was the only one not favored to win his bracket, instead coming in as the No. 3 seed. After beating Alan Yen in the first round, Chriswell upset Ryan Smith in the semifinals by a 5-2 decision, moving on to the finals where he would face Oregon State's Taylor Meeks. Chriswell lost a close match to Meeks when Oregon State came to Boise, but this time would be different as Chriswell finished the upset bid with another 5-2 decision.
George Ivanov finished second in the 157-pound bracket, falling to Roger Pena in the finals, 5-2. After the tournament, Ivanov wrestled third-place finisher Garrett Schaner of Stanford to determine a true second-place finisher. The result had no impact on the tournament results and was strictly used for NCAA qualifier purposes. Ivanov defeated Schaner by decision to put all doubt to rest.
Steven Hernandez and Holden Packard each finished third for the Broncos. Hernandez returned from an injury that sidelined him late in the season and recorded two pins in his first two wins, but it was a 5-3 upset over Kyle Chene that secured the bronze finish. Packard wrestled in his first matches as an official member of the Boise State lineup and picked up two wins in the consolation bracket to take third at 165 pounds.
Josh Strait (141), Scott Bacon (174) and J.T. Felix (HWT) each finsished with a 1-2 record on the day to finish fourth in their respective brackets.
Landon Hartley finished in sixth place at 125 pounds.
1. 138.0 Oregon State
2. 129.0 Boise State
3. 125.0 Stanford
4. 102.5 Arizona State
5. 98.0 Cal Poly
6. 78.5 CSU Bakersfield