INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA handed out the 2019 NCAA Wrestling Awards at the end of the respective NCAA wrestling championships for Divisions I, II and III.
The inaugural NCAA Wrestling Awards were presented at the 2012 wrestling championships. The three awards 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 results to be counted they must come against opponents in the same division (i.e. Division I vs. Division I). Ties in the falls and tech falls categories are broken based on the aggregate time.
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Penn State teammates Bo Nickal and Jason Nolf were in the running for most dominant in Division I right through the final match of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. Nickal had three falls on his way to his third national championship, while Nolf had one fall and two tech falls as he also won his third individual national championship. Nickal finished with an average of 5.20 team points per match to 5.06 for Nolf. Virginia 125-pounder Jack Mueller was a distant third with 4.41 points after his runner-up finish.
In Division II, Millersville’s Shane Ruhnke reached the 17-match minimum during his run to the 165-pound national championship and the award for most dominant with an average of 4.89 points. Chris Eddins, Jr., won the 149-pound national championship for Pittsburgh-Johnstown over Trey Grine of Tiffin (who finished sixth in most dominant) to clinch second with 4.43 points.
The heavyweight duo of James Bethel from SUNY Oneonta and Jake Evans from Waynesburg battled all year for the most dominant award in Division III. Bethel lost his quarterfinal match at nationals but fought back to take third place with a fall and two major decisions to finish the year with 4.95 points, while Evans averaged 4.68 in second. Jay Albis of JWU (Providence) and Troy Stanich of Stevens finished in a tie for third at 4.59 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)
For most falls, heavyweight Matt Stencel of Central Michigan won the award in Division I with 19, while Nicholas Mason of Tiffin took the Division II award with 14 and Da’mani Burns led all divisions with 23 falls to win the award in Division III for JWU (Providence).
Messiah 149-pounder Stephen Maloney led all division with 17 tech falls to take the award in Division III. Lock Haven 133-pounder Kyle Shoop led Division I in tech falls for the second year in a row with 15 and Logan Grass of Mercyhurst took the award in Division II with nine at 165 pounds.