Beavers cruise to second consecutive Pac-12 wrestling crown

Final Bracket (PDF) | Video Recap:

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TEMPE, Ariz. – The Oregon State Beavers showed up early and often at the 2013 Pac-12 Wrestling Championships in Tempe, Ariz., cruising to their second consecutive conference crown on Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena.

Boise State’s George Ivanov was awarded the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler award for his conference-title-winning effort at 157 pounds while Oregon State scored 158.0 points en route to a 21.5 point victory over the Broncos.  It was the highest winning point tally by a Pac-12 tournament team in the last 20 years and OSU's fourth team title in the last seven years.

Oregon State and Boise State each earned three individual conference championships while OSU also had a tournament-best six student-athletes in individual championship finals. The Beavers really made their mark with bonus points however, paced by Mike Mangrum who earned the tournament's Most Falls award with two in just under six-and-a-half minutes.

CSU Bakersfield’s Tyler Iwamura opened the night with an exciting victory in the 125-pound final, taking down Stanford’s Evan Silver with about 30 seconds remaining in the final frame to break a 1-1 tie and earn his first career Pac-12 Championship after finishing third at this competition last season.

In the 141 pounds championship, CSU Bakersfield’s Timmy Box came out firing over OSU's Mangrum with two early takedowns to take a 4-1 lead. Mangrum showed why he is a top-five wrestler in the country though, responding with two takedowns of his own and locking the cradle on the second as he forced the pin at 3:33 and earned his second consecutive Pac-12 title in the process.

The excitement was only just getting started as two top-15 wrestlers duked it out at 149 pounds in Boise State’s Jason Chamberlain and Oregon State’s Scott Sakaguchi.

Tied at one through seven minutes, the two standouts required an extra period to decide things and Chamberlain took advantage in the first sudden victory session, scoring a takedown that went to video review and was upheld to give the senior his third Pac-12 title of his career.

The 157-pound contest featured a rematch of last season’s final as Oregon State’s RJ Pena squared off against Ivanov with the latter looking for payback after dropping a tough decision last season that helped seal the deal for the Beavers.

Ivanov had no intentions of going quietly into the night on Saturday after falling behind 2-1 heading into the third period. With Pena choosing down, Ivanov turned him for a two-point near fall to take a 3-2 lead that he wouldn’t relinquish on his way to the first conference title for the senior and Most Outstanding Wrestler honor for the competition.

The next upset came in the very next round with Stanford’s Bret Baumbach, who entered as the tournament’s three-seed, knocking off top-seeded Seth Thomas in a dominating 7-1 affair.

In a battle of promising redshirt freshmen, two-seed Bryce Hammond of CSU Bakersfield got the upper hand on ASU’s Blake Stauffer in a decisive 10-4 effort that paved the way for a hard-fought 3-1 victory for Jake Swartz of Boise State over ASU's Kevin Radford.

The final matches of the day left little doubt as to the outcome of the competition for the Beavers as Taylor Meeks shut out Jake Meredith by a score of 4-0 before Chad Hanke wrapped up his senior season with a 3-2 decision over Boise State’s J.T. Felix for the heavyweight title – the first for each of their careers.

Twenty-one automatic bids to the NCAA Championships were awarded at the Pac-12 Championships on Saturday with the qualifiers as follows: (125) Tyler Iwamura (CSUB); (133) Devon Lotito (Cal Poly), Brian Owen (BSU); (141) Mike Mangrum (OSU); (149) Jason Chamberlain (BSU), Scott Sakaguchi (OSU); (157) George Ivanov (BSU), RJ Pena (OSU); (165) Bret Baumbach (Stanford); (174) Bryce Hammond (CSUB), Blake Stauffer (ASU), Cody Weishoff (OSU); (184) Jake Swartz (BSU), Kevin Radford (ASU), Ty Vinson (OSU); (197) Taylor Meeks (OSU), Jake Meredith (ASU); (HWT) Chad Hanke (OSU), J.T. Felix (BSU), Levi Cooper (ASU), Dan Scherer (Stanford).

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