INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA awarded the 2017 NCAA Wrestling Awards at the respective Division I, II and III Wrestling Championships over the last two weekends.
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.
For 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.
In Division I, Penn State 149-pounder Zain Retherford marched to his second consecutive national championship with four tech falls and a fall in the semifinals to wrap up the Most Dominant Wrestler Award with an average of 5.56 team points per match. Teammate Jason Nolf finished second after winning the national championship at 157 pounds as the Nittany Lions won their sixth team national championship in the last seven years.
Heavyweight Austin Goergen of St. Cloud State scored three consecutive falls on his way to a third-place finish at the Division II Wrestling Championships to wrap up the Most Dominant Wrestler award with an average of 4.83 team points per match.
Riley Lefever of Wabash made history by becoming only the second Division III wrestler to win four national championships by marching through the 197-pound bracket with three falls and a major decision to claim his second consecutive Most Dominant Wrestler Award with 5.79 team points per match.
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)
The final Most Dominant Wrestler standings are calculated with a 17-match minimum against wrestlers from the same division.
Cornell 184-pounder Gabe Dean earned the award for most falls in Division I with 17 this season. He finished in a three-way tie with Retherford and Penn State 184-pounder Bo Nickal, but won the tiebreaker by compiling his falls in 40:20, 14 minutes faster than Nickal.
Tiffin heavyweight Garrett Gray scored three falls on his way to the national championship, including beating Kameron Teacher of Notre Dame (Ohio) in 1:23 in the final, to win the award in Division II with 19 falls.
Hunter Harris of Messiah won the Division III award for most falls with 30, which led all divisions and was four more than heavyweight All-American Jake Evans of Waynesburg in second.
Virginia 125-pounder Jack Mueller picked up a tech fall in his opening match of the Division I Wrestling Championships on his way to an All-American finish to earn the award for most tech falls this season with 12, one more than Wisconsin’s Connor Medbery and Michigan’s Logan Massa.
Nic Goebel of Findlay earned All-America honors at 149 pounds with a third-place finish at the national championships and takes home the award for most tech falls with 11 this season in Division II.
Stephen Jarrell of Johnson & Wales (Rhode Island) was the national runner-up at 165 pounds at the Division III Wrestling Championships and claimed the award for most tech falls this season with 18, five more than anyone else in Division III.