FULLERTON, Calif. Led by individual championships in six different weight classes, the Boise State University wrestling team scored a record 172.5 points as the Broncos won their second straight Pac-10 Conference Championship Monday (March 2) night.
Andrew Hochstrasser, Jason Chamberlain, Tyler Sherfey, Nate Lee, Kirk Smith and Brent Chriswell all came away with league titles as Boise State easily dominated the other eight schools at this year’s tournament.
The 172.5 points the Broncos scored broke the old team point record of 155 set by Cal State Bakersfield. Oregon State was 44.5 points behind the Broncos in second place with 128 points, followed close behind by Cal State Bakersfield with 124.5 points.
Boise State’s win also marks the fifth time in the past 10 years the Broncos have come away with the Pac-10 Championship. The other titles came in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2008.
The Broncos’ six league champions, plus Adam Hall who finished runner-up at 157 pounds, have qualified for the NCAA National Championships in St. Louis, Mo., March 19-21 (Thursday-Saturday). The Pac-10 has 20 automatic qualifying spots at this year’s national tournament, and could add some more when the at-large positions are announced on March 11 (Wednesday).
For Lee and Chriswell, their victories on Monday night marked the second straight individual league titles for both wrestlers. Lee successfully defended his crown at 174 pounds when he handed Eric Starks of Arizona State a 5-2 defeat.
Chriswell, the winner of the 184-pound weight class last year when he competed for Arizona State, battled his way through the second overtime period of the 197-pound match before recording a 4-2 win over Brandon Halsey of Cal State Bakersfield.
Sherfey and Smith won their first league titles after placing second in their weight classes at last year’s Pac-10 Tournament. Sherfey, who was second at 157 pounds a year ago before moving up to 165-pound weight class for his senior season, posted a 4-1 win over Nick Amuchastegui of Stanford.
Smith, who lost the 184-pound title to Chriswell at the 2008 tournament, recorded a 2-1 decision over Riley Orozco of Cal State Bakersfield to win his first Pac-10 Championship.
After being away from collegiate competition for three years (two years on a church mission and last year as a red-shirt), Hochstrasser captured his first Pac-10 crown with a 6-1 decision over Kelly Kubec of Oregon State. As a freshman at the 2005 tournament, Hochstrasser placed third in the 125-pound weight class.
A true freshman, Chamberlain captured what he hopes will be the first of four league championships when he defeated Heinrich Barnes of Oregon State in double overtime, 6-5.
Boise State had only one loss in its seven championship matches on Monday when Hall lost a close double-overtime match to Chase Pami of Cal Poly, 4-3. The loss marked the second straight year Hall has finished second in his weight class.
The Broncos also came away with three fourth place finishes on Monday. After advancing to the finals of the consolation bracket, Brian Owen, Cory Fish and Sam Zylstra all lost their matches for third place.
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.