Boise State Takes Control of Conference Tournament

March 2, 2008

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EUGENE, Ore. - Boise State placed six wrestlers into Monday's finals en route to building a commanding lead after first day's action at the 2008 Pac-10 Wrestling Championships at McArthur Court Sunday.

Boise State took an overwhelming lead over the competition with 128.0 points, well ahead of second-place Arizona State (94.0). Third through seventh place teams are separated by less than 12 points, as defending champion Oregon State sits in third (83.5), Cal Poly fourth (79.0), Cal State-Bakersfield fifth (77.5), Stanford sixth (75.0) and Cal State-Fullerton seventh (72.0). UC Davis is eighth (66.5), host Oregon ninth (55.5) and Portland State tenth (17.0).

Nine of 10 Broncos reached the semifinals in their weight classes during Sunday's first session for Boise State. After dropping a match at 125, Boise State won ten consecutive matches to reach Sunday night's semifinals in the other nine weight classes.

'We've done a great job,' said Boise State Coach Greg Randall. 'We're wrestling well and there is no reason to ease up.'

The Broncos went on to claim spots in six of Monday's ten finals, including two No. 1 seeds, three No. 2 seeds and a No. 3 seed.

Cory Fish got the ball rolling for Boise State with a 3-0 decision over Cal State-Bakersfield's Thomas Kimbrell at 133 and will face Oregon's only finalist, Ryan Dunn, in Monday's final. The Broncos then earned semifinal victories in five consecutive weight classes beginning with Adam Hall's win by fall (6:47) over Stanford's Lucas Espericueta at 149. The No. 2 seeded Hall earned a finals match against Cal State Fullerton's only finalist, No. 1 Matt Atkinson.

Tyler Sherfey reached Monday's 157 final with a 3-2 decision over Josh Zupancic of Stanford and will meet Cal Poly's top-seeded Chase Pami in the finals. At 165, Kurt Swartz defeated Oregon State's Keegan Davis, 5-4, while No. 1 seed Nathan Lee used an 8-4 decision over Dale Seley of Portland State to reach the finals and continue the trend for Boise State. No. 2 Swartz set up another 1-2 matchup, as he will face top-seeded Patrick Pitsch of Arizona State, while Lee will meet the lone finalist from UC Davis, No. 3 Tyler Bernacchi.

Top-seeded Kirk Smith rounded out Boise State's semifinal wins with a 3-1 decision over Stanford's Zach Giesen at 184 pounds. Smith and Arizona State's Brent Chriswell will meet in Monday's 184-pound final.

'It's all about going for individual titles and third-place finishes,' said Coach Randall. 'We want nine guys in the NCAA Tournament.'

Arizona State earned a second-best five spots in finals, while Cal Poly and Oregon State each have two finalists. Stanford, Oregon, Cal State-Fullerton, UC Davis and Cal-State Bakersfield each have one finalist in Monday night's action.

Arizona State will compete in three of the four finals not contested by Broncos. Second-seeded Anthony Robles of the Sun Devils will face No. 1 Tanner Gardner of Stanford at 125. The lowest-seeded finalist, Arizona State's No. 6 Chris Drouin, will meet the top seed at 141, Chad Mendes, on Monday. At 197 pounds, top-seeded Jason Trulson of Arizona State will match up against Oregon State's Kyle Bressler.

The Beavers' other finalist, No. 2 Travis Gardner, used a 4-0 decision over Oregon's Charlie Alexander to advance to Monday's 285 final against Cal State-Bakersfield's Mitchell Monteiro.

Eight of the ten No. 1 seeds, five No. 2 seeds and four No. 3 seeds reached Monday's finals. One No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 seed will also compete for Pac-10 Championships in second day action. 57 of the 60 remaining wrestlers are seeded. The top three finishers in each weight class plus eight wildcards will advance to the NCAA Championships, March 20-22 in St. Louis, Mo.

Action from Eugene continues Monday at 3 p.m. Championship and third-place matches will begin at 7 p.m. at McArthur Court.

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