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. 

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. 

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

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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
Rank Name School Weight Avg. Team Points
1 Zain Retherford Penn St. 149 5.19
2 Bo Nickal Penn St. 184 4.81
3 Seth Gross South Dakota St. 133 4.59
4 Zahid Valencia Arizona St. 174 4.58
5 Mark Hall Penn St. 174 4.52
6 Jason Nolf Penn St. 157 4.37
7 Yianni Diakomihalis Cornell 141 4.26
8 Daniel Lewis Missouri 174 4.25
9 Kyle Snyder Ohio St. 285 4.06
10 Adam Coon Michigan 285 4.03
         
Division II
Rank Name School Weight Avg. Team Points
1 Nick Becker Wis.-Parkside 174 4.87
2 Cody Law Pitt.-Johnstown 157 4.36
3 Nolan Kistler California Baptist 174 4.28
4 Elijah Hale Central Okla. 125 4.17
5 Matt Halverson Wis.-Parkside 285 4.00
6 Jordan Murphy Ashland 184 3.96
7 Daxton Gordon California Baptist 149 3.88
8 Vince Dietz St. Cloud St. 197 3.79
9 Chris Eddins Pitt.-Johnstown 141 3.64
10 Darren Wynn McKendree 141 3.52
         
Division III
Rank Name School Weight Avg. Team Points
1 Jake Ashcraft Ithaca 184 4.94
2 Lucas Jeske Augsburg 165 4.68
3 Troy Stanich Stevens 133 4.65
4 Jake Evans Waynesburg 285 4.58
5 Isaiah Bellamy Wesleyan (CT) 285 4.54
6 Eric Devos Wartburg 174 4.39
7 Cross Cannone Wartburg 149 4.30
8 Guy Patron Loras 197 4.17
9 James Bethel SUNY Oneonta 285 4.16
10 Michael DiNardo Johnson & Wales (RI) 197 4.15

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
Rank Name School Weight Falls Time
1 Mike Hughes Hofstra 285 19 40:30
2 Zain Retherford Penn St. 149 17 53:05
3 Bo Nickal Penn St. 184 16 24:53
4 Ben Darmstadt Cornell 197 16 29:24
5 Jason Nolf Penn St. 157 16 44:27
6 Matt Stencel Central Mich. 285 13 17:39
7 Mark Hall Penn St. 174 13 32:09
8 Shakur Rasheed Penn St. 197 11 13:33
9 Bryce Meredith Wyoming 141 11 21:26
10 Jaydin Eierman Missouri 141 11 22:07
           
Division II
Rank Name School Weight Falls Time
1 Hayden Bronne Tiffin 184 15 26:23
2 Lawrence Phillips St. Cloud St. 285 14 27:17
3 Mason Thompson Central Okla. 165 14 43:41
4 Jarrod Hinrichs Neb.-Kearney 285 12 52:52
5 Matt Halverson Wis.-Parkside 285 11 27:06
6 Jarred Oftedahl St. Cloud St. 141 10 23:44
7 Natean Vandermeer Findlay 174 10 26:12
8 Justin Haneke Southwest Minn. St. 149 10 27:51
9 Nicholas Mason Tiffin 197 10 33:03
10 Trenton Piatt Western St. 125 10 42:44
           
Division III
Rank Name School Weight Falls Time
1 Isaiah Bellamy Wesleyan (CT) 285 24 55:18
2 Jake Ashcraft Ithaca 184 23 58:23
3 Devon Carrillo Wesleyan (CT) 197 21 33:19
4 Jake Evans Waynesburg 285 21 45:06
5 Triston Engle Brockport 197 19 42:28
6 Austin Bethel Wabash 149 18 31:51
7 Michael DiNardo Johnson & Wales (RI) 197 18 39:54
8 Avery Jones Thomas More 184 18 66:31
9 Troy Beaman St. Olaf 285 17 27:43
10 Wade Ripple Wabash 285 17 33:05

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
Rank Name School Weight Tech Falls Time
1 Kyle Shoop Lock Haven 141 13 59:39
2 Cam Sykora North Dakota St. 133 12 47:59
3 Myles Martin Ohio St. 184 11 60:15
4 Austin DeSanto Drexel 133 10 33:47
5 Jamel Morris NC State 133 10 34:27
6 Ethan Lizak Minnesota 125 10 46:46
7 Isaiah Martinez Illinois 165 9 41:05
8 Spencer Lee Iowa 125 8 29:35
9 Ke-Shawn Hayes Ohio St. 149 8 30:41
10 Chaz Polson Wyoming 184 8 35:05
           
Division II
Rank Name School Weight Tech Falls Time
1 Nick Vandermeer Lake Erie 165 9 35:52
2 Cody Law Pitt.-Johnstown 157 9 46:53
3 Connor Craig Wheeling Jesuit 157 9 54:09
4 Nolan Kistler California Baptist 174 8 33:57
5 George McGuire Gannon 149 8 42:22
6 Nick Becker Wis.-Parkside 174 8 42:54
7 Sebastian Vidika Ashland 125 7 25:13
8 Elijah Hale Central Okla. 125 7 25:17
9 Ryan Appleby Kutztown 285 7 41:24
10 Colton Dull Millersville 197 6 24:48
           
Division III
Rank Name School Weight Tech Falls Time
1 Jay Albis Johnson & Wales (RI) 125 16 70:36
2 Bradan Birt Millikin 149 15 58:49
3 Kyle Koser Messiah 197 15 62:21
4 Ben Swarr Messiah 174 14 57:40
5 Jimmy Davis Loras 149 13 53:29
6 Cross Cannone Wartburg 149 13 54:42
7 Kyle Fank Wartburg 197 12 49:51
8 Stephen Maloney Messiah 149 11 46:52
9 Nick Mancini Mount Union 125 10 43:15
10 Sunny Nier Wabash 125 9 21:58