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NCAA | March 23, 2022

Wrestling award winners crowned at NCAA championships

Gable Steveson vs. Cohlton Schultz: 2022 NCAA wrestling championship final (285 lb.)

INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA presented the 2022 NCAA Wrestling Awards to eight student-athletes at the Divisions 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 results to be counted for the awards they must come against opponents in the same division (i.e. Division II vs. Division II). Ties in the falls and tech falls categories are broken based on the aggregate time. 

STANDINGS: Click or tap here for complete wrestling award standings

In Division I, Air Force heavyweight Wyatt Hendrickson was presented with two awards at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit as the winner for Most Dominant Wrestler and most falls. Hendrickson had 16 falls on the season, including one fall and one major decision during the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, to finish the season averaging 4.70 team points per match.

The Division I winner for most technical falls was Sebastian Rivera of Rutgers with 14 this season to help him finish second in the race for most dominant with 4.39 average team points. 

Yianni Diakomihalis of Cornell became a three-time national champion in Detroit winning at 149 pounds and took third in most dominant with 4.36 average points.

RECAPPING IT ALL: Everything you need to know from the Division I wrestling championships

The Most Dominant Wrestler standings are calculated by adding the total number of team points awarded through match results and dividing that number by the total number of matches wrestled. Wrestlers need a minimum of 17 matches and must qualify for the national tournament to win the award. 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)

In Division II, Matt Malcom of Nebraska-Kearney won his second national championship to complete a 24-0 season vs. Division II competition at 165 pounds and helped the Lopers win the fourth national championship in school history and earn Most Dominant Wrestler with a 4.63 average team points this season.

His teammate, Austin Eldredge, also took home a performance trophy as his 16 tech falls at 174 pounds was three more than the next best in Division II, while Nicholas Mason of Tiffin took the award for most falls with 17 this season at 197 pounds.

Division III featured a very close race for Most Dominant Wrestler that came down to the final round of competition at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Millikin’s Bradan Birt earned a 14-2 major decision victory to win the 165-pound national championship and complete a 40-0 season against D-III competition to win with an average of 5.45 team points per match, edging Kaidon Winters of RIT (5.20 average) and Kaleb Reeves of Coe (5.19).

Reeves edged Birt for most falls in Division III with 24 at heavyweight, which was one more than Birt’s 23.

Michael Ross of Johnson & Wales rounded out the award winners in Division III with 22 tech falls to take that prize.

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