FULLERTON, Calif. Boise State University has a commanding lead following the first day of competition at this year’s Pac-10 Conference Championships as seven Bronco wrestlers advanced to Monday’s (March 2) finals.

Andrew Hochstrasser, Jason Chamberlain, Adam Hall, Tyler Sherfey, Nate Lee, Kirk Smith and Brent Chriswell will compete for individual titles Monday night after posting semifinal victories Sunday night on the Cal State Fullerton campus.

Those seven, and three other Bronco wrestlers who are still alive in the consolation brackets, have helped Boise State to 138 points and a 29 point lead over second place Cal State Bakersfield.

Competing at 133 pounds, Hochstrasser was the first Bronco to advance to the finals when he recorded a 9-4 decision over Filjia Novachokov of Cal Poly. He will face Kelly Kubec of Oregon State in the finals. Hochstrasser defeated Kubec 11-2 back in December in a dual match in Boise.

Chamberlain, a true freshman, will go for his first Pac-10 title when he faces the top seed at 149 pounds in Heinrich Barnes of Oregon State. Chamberlain advanced to the finals with a 4-0 shutout of Teddy Astorga of Cal State Fullerton. Chamberlain will be looking for his first victory over Barnes this year following 12-4 and 7-4 losses earlier this season.

After finishing second in his weight class (149 pounds) last year, Hall will be looking to become Pac-10 Champion at 157 pounds on Monday when he faces Chase Pami of Cal Poly. Hall and Pami have had two close matches this season with Hall coming out on top both times, 5-1 and 6-4. Hall advanced to the finals with 7-3 decision over Jonathan Brascetta of Oregon State.

The only Bronco senior remaining among the seven who advanced to the finals, Sherfey recorded a 6-3 decision in the 165-pound weight class over Keegan Davis of Oregon State on Sunday night. Sherfey will try to close out his Pac-10 career with his first championship when he faces Nick Amuchastequi of Stanford. The two wrestlers have split their previous two meetings this season with Amuchastequi handing Sherfey a 4-2 loss in the finals of the Cowboy Open back in November, before Sherfey recorded a 3-2 decision early last month.

Lee will be going for this second straight title at 174 pounds when he faces Eric Starks of Arizona State. Lee recorded a 10-1 major decision over Todd Noel of Cal State Fullerton in the semifinals. This will mark the first time this season Lee and Starks have wrestled each other.

Smith had a tough semifinal match at 184 pounds before handing Jake Johnson of Stanford a 2-1 defeat. Smith, who is in his second straight Pac-10 finals, will face Riley Orozco of Cal State Bakersfield. Smith handed Orozco an 8-1 defeat in mid-January of this year.

Chriswell, who defeated Smith in last year’s Pac-10 final at 184 pounds when he wrestled for Arizona State, advanced to the finals of the 197-pound class when John Drake suffered an injury during their match and had to default. Transferring to Boise State this past summer, Chriswell will face Brandon Halsey of Cal State Bakersfield in Monday’s finals. Chriswell has a 5-3 victory over Halsey this season.

Boise State had only one semifinal loss on Sunday night when Cory Fish lost his 141-pound match to Elijha Nacita, 5-1. Fish is in the consolation semifinals along with Bronco teammates Brian Owen at 124 pounds and Sam Zylstra at heavyweight.

Owen defeated Matt Sencenbaugh of Stanford 5-3, while Zylstra was an 8-5 winner over Kurt Klimek of Cal State Fullerton.

The Broncos, who scored 152 points in winning last year’s Pac-10 title, will be trying to the break the league record of 155 points held by Cal State Bakersfield.

The consolation semifinals will begin at 3:00 p.m. (PT) on Monday with the championship and consolation finals beginning at 7:00 p.m. (PT) on the Cal State Fullerton campus.

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