INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA has released the debut set of standings for the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Awards that will be awarded in March at the respective Division I, II and III Wrestling Championships.
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.
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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.
NCAA champions Jason Nolf and Zain Retherford of Penn State lead Division I in falls with 12 and 11. Heavyweights Mike Hughes of Hofstra and Ben Darmstadt of Cornell have also reached double figures with 10 falls to start their campaigns.
In Division II, Central Oklahoma 165-pounder Mason Thompson is off to a fast start with 10 falls, which is three more than his next closest competitor.
Heavyweight Isaiah Bellamy of Wesleyan (Connecticut) and 184-pounder Isaac Odell of Wheaton (Illinois) are tied in Division III with 12 falls each at the top of the table. Bellamy holds the tiebreaker at this point with a 14-minute advantage in aggregate time over Odell (26:35 to 40:38). Gennaro Cerminara (Muhlenberg) and Hunter Harris (Messiah) have 11 falls to lead a trail group of seven additional wrestlers already in double digits.
Division I has an early three-way tie in the race for the most technical falls among Cam Sykora (North Dakota State), Chance Marstellar (Lock Haven) and former NCAA champion Myles Martin (Ohio State). Aggregate time breaks the tie with Sykora holding a six-minute lead over Marstellar in second, who is another six minutes ahead of Martin.
It’s a family affair atop the standings in Division II where brothers Nick and Nate Vandermeer lead the way. Nick Vandermeer is in first with six tech falls at 165 pounds for Lake Erie, while younger brother Nate has five at 174 pounds for Findlay.
Wartburg 149-pounder Cross Cannone leads Division III with 10 technical falls, while Messiah’s Kyle Koser has notched nine of his own to hold sole possession of second place.
The initial Most Dominant Wrestler standings will be released later this season to allow wrestlers to achieve the minimum amount of matches that is required to be eligible for the standings.