Pac-12 announces wrestling awards
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - BOISE STATE’s Jake Swartz has been voted Pac-12 Wrestler of the Year, while STANFORD’s Jim Wilson was tabbed Pac-12 Wrestling Freshman/Newcomer of the Year, and OREGON STATE’s Jim Zalesky was named Pac-12 Wrestling Coach of the Year, the Conference office announced today. The awards were voted on by the six Pac-12 wrestling head coaches.
Swartz, a native of Auburn, Wash., capped his outstanding career with his fourth-consecutive NCAA tournament after winning the Pac-12 Championship at 184 pounds for the third-straight year. The redshirt senior finished in seventh place at the national championship, earning All-America honors for the first time in his career as a Bronco. His performance helped Boise State to a 25th-place finish at the NCAA Championships, the highest placing of any Pac-12 school at the tournament. He concluded his collegiate career with a record of 91-30, including a mark of 17-3 in his final season. It marks Boise State’s second-consecutive Pac-12 Wrestler of the Year award as Jason Chamberlain took home the honor last year. It is the fourth all-time for the Broncos.
Wilson, a redshirt freshman from Lodi, Calif., posted a 35-8 record, including a mark of 2-2 at his first NCAA tournament for the Cardinal. His 35 wins tie Matt Gentry for the second-most by a freshman in school history. Wilson’s record contributed to the Cardinal’s program-best 17 dual wins, which bested a 39-year-old record of 15 wins set in 1975. Wilson picked up the Pac-12 Championship at 165 pounds this year, becoming the first Stanford freshman to win a Conference championship since 1993. He was one of four Cardinal wrestlers to earn an individual title at the Conference meet, the most individual victors in program history. It is Stanford’s third Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Year in wrestling, as Gentry won it in 2002 and Zack Giesen took home a share of the award in 2007.
Zalesky receives his third-consecutive Wrestling Coach of the Year award and fourth in his eight-season career at Oregon State. He guided the Beavers to their third-consecutive Pac-12 wrestling title this year, making it seven times in his eight years that Oregon State has finished first or second in the Pac-12. Zalesky saw five total wrestlers advance to the NCAA championship, wrapping up with a 28th-place finish on a total of 14.5 points.