Inaugural NCAA awards to be given at NCAA Division II Championships

INDIANAPOLIS – The first annual NCAA Wrestling Awards are set to be given out at the upcoming NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships at Massari Arena in Pueblo, Colorado Saturday evening.

The three awards, approved by the NCAA Wrestling Committee prior to the start of the 2012 season, will honor Division II’s Most Dominant Wrestler as well as the wrestlers that have accumulated the most falls and the most tech falls throughout the course of the regular and postseason.

The race to the finish line in the awards standings will be determined at the championships as all but one wrestler in the top three of the current standings is listed among the field of competitors.

Leading the Most Dominant Wrestler Award standings is 165-pounder Tad Merritt of St. Cloud State with 5.00 points. The point total is calculated by adding the total number of points awarded through match results and dividing that number by the total number of matches wrestled. Merritt is trailed by teammate Jake Kahnke, who wrestlers at heavyweight and is currently listed at number two in the standings with 4.55 points. Upper Iowa’s Trevor Franklin (133 pounds) sits just behind Kahnke with 4.47 points.

Merritt and Kody Young of Mercyhurst (133 pounds) will battle it out for the Most Falls award. Each enters the championship with 16 pins on the year. Their 16 falls also match St. Cloud State’s Josh Howk’s (157 pounds) total this season. However, Howk will not be in the championship field.

174-pounder, Luke Rynish of Wisconsin-Parkside, takes the Most Tech Falls lead into the championships having collected 10 this season. He is trailed by 149-pound wrestlers Josh Hensley of Adams State (8) and San Francisco State’s Dylan Phillipy (7).

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