DES MOINES, Iowa – Jason Chamberlain won two matches, Friday, and will look to become the third national champion in Boise State wrestling*history when he faces Jordan Oliver of Oklahoma State in the 149-pound final, Saturday night.
Chamberlain leads the Broncos, who are currently in 16th with 29 team points. George Ivanov, Jake Swartz and J.T. Felix each were eliminated in Friday’s action, falling one win short of becoming All-Americans.
Chamberlain opened the day against Scott Sakaguchi in the quarterfinals. It was déjà vu in the fourth matchup of the season between Chamberlain and Sakaguchi and the result was similar to all the others - close. Regulation ended at 1-1 as each wrestler escaped in the period they started on bottom. Neither could score in the minute-long sudden-victory period even though Chamberlain was given a scare when Sakaguchi got his leg in the air for what looked would be a heartbreaking defeat. The Bronco was able to scramble away and keep his championship hopes alive. So it came to tiebreakers where Chamberlain escaped within seconds when he started on bottom, and secured the win by riding out Sakaguchi in the second half.
In the semifinal bout it was a late charge that sealed the win for Chamberlain who outscored Drake Houdashelt 5-2 in the third period. Chamberlain started with a 2-1 lead after the first frame and chose to start neutral in the second period. Neither scored in the second but as the score carried into the third period with Houdashelt even tying Chamberlain after a quick escape. The redshirt senior from rallied with two takedowns and a riding time point for the 7-3 win.
The Springville, Utah native is now the eighth wrestler in Bronco history to be named an All-American more than once.
Jake Swartz won two matches in the opening session to advance to the evening session but fell to No. 12 Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa) the round-of-12 after the second tiebreaker. Swartz started the day with a comeback upset of No. 9 Chris Chionuma (Oklahoma State), outscoring Chionuma 4-0 in the final period to win 6-4. He then pinned Fred Garcia (Lock Haven) in a tiebreaker to meet Lofthouse. The two were tied at 1-1 at the end of the three periods, a that tie would not be broken until the second tiebreaker when Lofhouse was able to escape in the first half while starting on bottom, but Swartz could not do the same when he got his chance.
Swartz ended the tournament 3-2, the same record he recorded last season.
George Ivanov and J.T. Felix each lost two-straight bouts to be eliminated from the tournament, finishing 2-2 for the week.
Ivanov suffered a takedown in the final 10 seconds against Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State) to drop the bout 6-4 and was bumped to the consolation bracket where he met No. 10 RJ Pena of Oregon State.
In a rematch of the Pac-12 Championship, the roles were reversed as Pena edged out Ivanov in a 3-2 decision. Ivanov tied the match in the second period at 2-2 after getting an escape, but Pena had over two minutes of riding time that Ivanov needed to cut into. The senior was able to get the time under one minute but an escape with 42 seconds left in the bout gave Pena the edge and the win.
Felix dropped his first bout to No. 3 Alan Gelogaev (Oklahoma State), 10-5 before he was bounced from the tournament by Matthew Gibson (Iowa State), 15-2.
The finals will begin Saturday at 7 p.m. CT and will be shown live in ESPN. Chamberlain will be the eighth match of the night, which starts at 174 pounds.