Four wrestlers will represent Boise State when they compete in the NCAA 2012 Division I Wrestling Championships. Redshirt junior Brian Owen, junior George Ivanov, redshirt sophomore Jake Swartz and redshirt junior Brent Chriswell will each take to the mats in the heated competition.
The NCAA tournament will take place in Scottrade Center in St. Louis beginning Thursday March 15, and concluding Saturday, March 17.
Owens has been recovering from an injury for most of the season, but came back into the lineup in February. He currently boasts an 8-1 record, wrestling at 133-pound and won the California Collegiate Open in his season debut.
Ivanov, a junior transfer from the University of Nebraska Omaha, has recorded a total of 22 wins, the most by any Bronco this season. With a 22-6 record, Ivanov made a name for himself with an impressive comeback, stringing together five wins in a row—three against a wrestler with top 20 ranking, at the Reno Tournament of Champions, Dec. 18.
Swartz won the Pac-12 Tournament at 184 pounds and will enter competition play with an 18-4 record. The Washington native is ranked 10 in the latest Intermat poll and is on a hot streak, having won 10 of his last 11 matches.
Chriswell returned to the Bronco lineup this season after serving a two-year mission. With a 14-2 record, Chriswell enters his third conference championship wrestling at 197 pounds.
He was named the Pac-12 Championship’s Most Outstanding Wrestler and was the lowest seed to be crowned champion. Chriswell also claims the best winning percentage of any Boise State wrestler this season with a .875. He also has an eight match-winning streak upon entering the NCAA tournament.
The Pac-12 Championship:
The Broncos took second at the 2012 Pac-12 Championships with 129 points—nine behind champion
Owen entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed and needed three wins to claim victory. 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.
Ivanov finished second, 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, redeeming his earlier loss.
Swartz wrestled in two matches 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, Chriswell, came into the tournament 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 finished the upset bid with another 5-2 decision.
ESPN will provide live coverage of the event on its family of networks, along with ESPN3.com, the company’s online station. Results will also be updated at ncaa.com.