College Wrestling Awards winners crowned at NCAA championships

INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA Wrestling Awards were handed out at the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships in all three divisions on March 10 for Divisions II and III and March 17 for Division I.

The inaugural NCAA Wrestling Awards were presented at the 2012 wrestling championships. The three awards, given in each division, honor the Most Dominant Wrestler as well as the student-athletes that have accumulated the most falls and the most technical falls throughout the course of the regular and postseasons.

ncaalogoFor falls and tech falls to be counted they must come against opponents in the same division. Ties in the two categories are broken based on the aggregate time.

The Most Dominant Wrestler award standings requires a 17-match minimum in the division to qualify.

Penn State 149-pounder Zain Retherford repeated as the Most Dominant Wrestler in Division I with an average of 5.19 team points per match, which led all three divisions. Retherford captured his third national championship in Cleveland and finished his career with 94 consecutive wins. Teammate Bo Nickal finished second with 4.81 points at 184 pounds as he captured his second consecutive national championship via fall in the title match. National champions Seth Gross of South Dakota State (133 pounds) and undefeated Zahid Valencia of Arizona State (174 pounds) took the next two spots.

In Division II, Wisconsin-Parkside 174-pounder Nick Becker finished his Ranger career 89-0 as he claimed his third national championship and the Most Dominant Wrestler award with an average of 4.87 points in 2018. Pittsburgh-Johnstown’s Cody Law finished second after winning the national championship at 157 pounds, while Nolan Kistler of California Baptist was third after falling in the national championship match to Becker. Elijah Hale of Central Oklahoma won the national championship at 125 pounds to climb to fourth in the final Most Dominant standings.

Jake Ashcraft of Ithaca picked up four falls on his way to a third-place finish at 184 pounds in the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships to lock up the Most Dominant Wrestler award with an average of 4.94 points. Lucas Jeske of Augsburg was named Most Outstanding Wrestler at the event on his way to the 165-pound national championship with three falls and a tech fall in the final to finish second in the standings. Troy Stanich of Stevens and heavyweight national champion Jake Evans of Waynesburg rounded out the top four.

NCAA STAT LEADERS – MOST DOMINANT
Division I
RankNameSchoolWeightAvg. Team Points
1Zain RetherfordPenn St.1495.19
2Bo NickalPenn St.1844.81
3Seth GrossSouth Dakota St.1334.59
4Zahid ValenciaArizona St.1744.58
5Mark HallPenn St.1744.52
6Jason NolfPenn St.1574.37
7Yianni DiakomihalisCornell1414.26
8Daniel LewisMissouri1744.25
9Kyle SnyderOhio St.2854.06
10Adam CoonMichigan2854.03
Division II
RankNameSchoolWeightAvg. Team Points
1Nick BeckerWis.-Parkside1744.87
2Cody LawPitt.-Johnstown1574.36
3Nolan KistlerCalifornia Baptist1744.28
4Elijah HaleCentral Okla.1254.17
5Matt HalversonWis.-Parkside2854.00
6Jordan MurphyAshland1843.96
7Daxton GordonCalifornia Baptist1493.88
8Vince DietzSt. Cloud St.1973.79
9Chris EddinsPitt.-Johnstown1413.64
10Darren WynnMcKendree1413.52
Division III
RankNameSchoolWeightAvg. Team Points
1Jake AshcraftIthaca1844.94
2Lucas JeskeAugsburg1654.68
3Troy StanichStevens1334.65
4Jake EvansWaynesburg2854.58
5Isaiah BellamyWesleyan (CT)2854.54
6Eric DevosWartburg1744.39
7Cross CannoneWartburg1494.30
8Guy PatronLoras1974.17
9James BethelSUNY Oneonta2854.16
10Michael DiNardoJohnson & Wales (RI)1974.15

The Most Dominant Wrestler standings are calculated by adding the total number of points awarded through match results and dividing that number by the total number of matches wrestled. Points per match are awarded as follows.

Fall, forfeit, injury default or DQ = 6 points (-6 points for a loss)
* Tech falls = 5 points (-5 points for a loss)
Major decision = 4 points (-4 points for a loss)
Decision = 3 points (-3 points for a loss)

Hofstra heavyweight All-American Mike Hughes claimed the trophy for most falls in Division I with 19 this season. The Penn State tandem of Retherford and Nickal took the next two spots with 17 and 16, respectively. Nickal held the aggregate time tiebreaker for third over Ben Darmstadt of Cornell and Jason Nolf of Penn State, who also tallied 16 falls.

Hayden Bronne of Tiffin earned the award in Division II with 15 falls at 184 pounds, while Lawrence Phillips of St. Cloud State and Mason Thompson of Central Oklahoma each had 14 falls.

Isaiah Bellamy of Wesleyan (Connecticut) picked up a pair of falls on the way to finishing third at heavyweight in the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships to win the award with 24 falls this season. Most Dominant Award winner Ashcraft was second with 23 falls, while Devon Carrillo of Wesleyan (Connecticut) and Jake Evans of Waynesburg each had 21.

NCAA STAT LEADERS – FALLS
Division I
RankNameSchoolWeightFallsTime
1Mike HughesHofstra2851940:30
2Zain RetherfordPenn St.1491753:05
3Bo NickalPenn St.1841624:53
4Ben DarmstadtCornell1971629:24
5Jason NolfPenn St.1571644:27
6Matt StencelCentral Mich.2851317:39
7Mark HallPenn St.1741332:09
8Shakur RasheedPenn St.1971113:33
9Bryce MeredithWyoming1411121:26
10Jaydin EiermanMissouri1411122:07
Division II
RankNameSchoolWeightFallsTime
1Hayden BronneTiffin1841526:23
2Lawrence PhillipsSt. Cloud St.2851427:17
3Mason ThompsonCentral Okla.1651443:41
4Jarrod HinrichsNeb.-Kearney2851252:52
5Matt HalversonWis.-Parkside2851127:06
6Jarred OftedahlSt. Cloud St.1411023:44
7Natean VandermeerFindlay1741026:12
8Justin HanekeSouthwest Minn. St.1491027:51
9Nicholas MasonTiffin1971033:03
10Trenton PiattWestern St.1251042:44
Division III
RankNameSchoolWeightFallsTime
1Isaiah BellamyWesleyan (CT)2852455:18
2Jake AshcraftIthaca1842358:23
3Devon CarrilloWesleyan (CT)1972133:19
4Jake EvansWaynesburg2852145:06
5Triston EngleBrockport1971942:28
6Austin BethelWabash1491831:51
7Michael DiNardoJohnson & Wales (RI)1971839:54
8Avery JonesThomas More1841866:31
9Troy BeamanSt. Olaf2851727:43
10Wade RippleWabash2851733:05

Kyle Shoop of Lock Haven picked up his 13th tech fall of the season at the NCAA championships to pass Cam Sykora of North Dakota State for the most tech falls in Division I. National runner-up Myles Martin of Ohio State was third with 11 at 184 pounds.

Division II featured a three-way tie of nine tech falls between Lake Erie’s Nick Vandermeer, Pittsburgh-Johnstown’s Cody Law and Wheeling Jesuit’s Connor Craig. Vandermeer earned the award with an aggregate time of 35:52, 11 minutes more than Law in second.

Jay Albis of Johnson & Wales (Rhode Island) won the national championship at 125 pounds and claimed the Division III award for most tech falls with 16 this season. Millikin’s All-American Bradan Birt and Messiah’s Kyle Koser were just behind Albis with 15 tech falls this season.

NCAA STAT LEADERS – TECH FALLS
Division I
RankNameSchoolWeightTech FallsTime
1Kyle ShoopLock Haven1411359:39
2Cam SykoraNorth Dakota St.1331247:59
3Myles MartinOhio St.1841160:15
4Austin DeSantoDrexel1331033:47
5Jamel MorrisNC State1491034:27
6Ethan LizakMinnesota1251046:46
7Isaiah MartinezIllinois165941:05
8Spencer LeeIowa125829:35
9Ke-Shawn HayesOhio St.149830:41
10Chaz PolsonWyoming184835:05
Division II
RankNameSchoolWeightTech FallsTime
1Nick VandermeerLake Erie165935:52
2Cody LawPitt.-Johnstown157946:53
3Connor CraigWheeling Jesuit157954:09
4Nolan KistlerCalifornia Baptist174833:57
5George McGuireGannon149842:22
6Nick BeckerWis.-Parkside174842:54
7Sebastian VidikaAshland125725:13
8Elijah HaleCentral Okla.125725:17
9Ryan ApplebyKutztown285741:24
10Colton DullMillersville197624:48
Division III
RankNameSchoolWeightTech FallsTime
1Jay AlbisJohnson & Wales (RI)1251670:36
2Bradan BirtMillikin1491558:49
3Kyle KoserMessiah1971562:21
4Ben SwarrMessiah1741457:40
5Jimmy DavisLoras1491353:29
6Cross CannoneWartburg1491354:42
7Kyle FankWartburg1971249:51
8Stephen MaloneyMessiah1491146:52
9Nick ManciniMount Union1251043:15
10Sunny NierWabash125921:58

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