Chase Pami has been the face of the Cal Poly wrestling program since former national runner-up Chad Mendes left in 2007.
Now the 157-pounder has a chance to do what Mendes was unable to accomplish — win a national championship.
Pami won two matches to advance to today’s final against top-ranked and undefeated J.P. O’Connor of Harvard in Omaha, Neb.
The road to the final went through a familiar foe as Pami beat Pac-10 champion Adam Hall of Boise State for just the second time in their six meetings by claiming a 5-2 decision in the quarterfinals.
In the semifinals, Pami won a 13-5 major decision over Justin Lister of Binghamton to move onto the final.
Lister, unseeded, had pulled upsets over three seeded wrestlers prior to his match with Pami.
O’Connor reached the final by virtue of a 14-2 major decision over Steve Fittery of American. He is now 34-0 on the year.
O’Connor and Pami have wrestled four times in two years. Pami’s lone win was in the wrestlebacks of the 2009 NCAA championships.
Boris Novachkov, Cal Poly’s other quarterfinalist was able to secure All-American honors by winning in the fifth round of wrestlebacks.
The top eight finishers in each weight class secure All-American honors.
Novachkov, seeded fifth at 143, lost 2-1 in overtime to eighth-seeded Tyler Graff of Wisconsin in the wrestleback quarterfinals.
He will compete in the seventh-place match against ninth-seeded Steve Bell of Maryland.
Also competing was 141-pounder Filip Novachkov, who was eliminated in the fifth round wrestlebacks after losing 9-5 to No. 5 Zack Bailey of Oklahoma.
The Mustangs are in 17th place in the team standings with 27 points. Iowa has clinched the team title with 120 points. Cornell is second with 75 and Iowa State (67) is third.
The finals will be televised live today starting at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN.