Felix, Swartz Capture Pac-12 Championships
March 2, 2014
STANFORD, Calif. - Boise State seniors J.T. Felix and Jake Swartz captured championships in their respective weight classes at the 2014 Pac-12 Wrestling Championships Sunday at Maples Pavilion, as the Broncos finished in third place as a team.
Swartz won his third-consecutive title at 184 pounds, defeating top-seeded Blake Stauffer of Arizona State in the finals (3-2).
"The first one was definitely the sweetest," Swartz said. "It's your first one, and you know you have a bright future in front of you. But this one feels great, and I'm ready and looking forward to nationals."
For Felix, it was his first-career title in his third trip to the finals of the league tournament. The top seed entering the tournament, Felix defeated No. 2 seed Amarveer Dhesi of Oregon State via decision in the finals (7-1).
"Finally winning a Pac-12 title feels fantastic," Felix said. "I can't believe it took me four years to win one, but it has made me a better person.
"I'm looking forward to NCAAs. I wrestled the current No. 1 heavyweight earlier this season, and I took him down three times. I didn't get the win, but I feel like what I did in the match is setting the tone for me at the national tournament."
Felix and Swartz are each guaranteed places at the NCAA Tournament in Oklahoma City, Okla., March 20-22.
"Going out as Pac-12 champions as seniors means a lot to these guys. It was a good way to finish their conference careers, and it goes down on their resume for good," head coach Greg Randall said. "But they still have one more tournament in front of them."
The senior duo were just two of four Broncos to reach the finals, as sophomores Rami Haddadin (125) and Chris Castillo (149) were also wrestling on the center mat in the evening's final session. Each finished runner-up, falling via decision to the top seed in the finals.
Steven Hernandez finished third at 157 pounds, defeating No. 3 seed Spencer Hill of CSU Bakersfield in the third-place match.
"We knew Rami and Chris were good wrestlers," Randall said. "Rami finished sixth last year, and Chris wasn't even in the line-up. They keep getting better, and they have a really good future in front of them."
Boise State finished third with 128.5 points, behind Oregon State (155.5) and Stanford (134.0).
"Oregon State wrestled well and dominated the tournament," Randall said. "We held Stanford off until the finals, but they wrestled really well in front of their home crowd. We would definitely like to have a couple matches back, but I'm proud of these guys and the way they wrestled today."
Boise State will close out its regular season Saturday (March 8) against Oregon State, in the second Beauty and the Beast event of the season. The event is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
For match-by-match results, and for a recap from the first session, CLICK HERE.
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