April 3, 2009

EDMOND, Okla.  -- Unbeaten 157-pounder Todd Meneely of Nebraska-Omaha has been selected as the 2008-09 NCAA Division II Wrestler of the Year after winning his third straight national championship this season.

Meneely is the second winner of the award, sponsored by the NCAA Division II Wrestling Coaches' Association and voted on by eight regional representatives from around the country.  Nebraska-Kearney heavyweight Tervel Dlagnev took the inaugural award last year.

Each of the four regions nominated a candidate, with Super Region Two nominee Meneely finishing with 28 points to edge out runner-up Cy Wainwright of Newberry and Super Region One by one point.  Minnesota State-Mankato's Tommy Abbott was the Super Region Three representative and Arsenia Barksdale of Adams State the Super Region Four nominee.

Meneely, a native of Omaha, went a perfect 27-0 this season with 10 falls, seven major decisions and three technical falls.  He was only scored on offensively three times (three takedowns) and won five tournament titles this year.

A three-time regional champion, Meneely captured the Division II national title at 149 pounds in 2007 and '08 before moving up to 157 this season and winning a third consecutive crown March 13-14 in Houston, Texas.  He finished with a 85-5 career record in three years with the Mavericks.

Meneely was the driving force behind a UNO team that went undefeated in duals and ran away with the national team championship this season.  He was named the Outstanding Wrestler at the NWCA Division II National Duals in January.

A four-time state champion at Skutt Catholic High School in Omaha, Meneely was a Freestyle and Greco Junior National champion in 2002.