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NWCA announces special award winners following NCAA DIII Championships

This past weekend at the Division III National Championships saw the NWCA announce five awards; The NWCA National Tournament Coach of the Year, NWCA Assistant Coach of the Year, NWCA Rookie Coach of the Year, National Tournament Outstanding Wrestler, and National Tournament Most Pins in the least amount of time. The winners were announced at the conclusion of the NCAA Division III National Championships.

Marty Nichols, an NWCA Leadership Academy Mentor, was named the NWCA National Tournament Coach of the Year. Prior to the tournament Coach Nichols was named recipient of the Theraworx NWCA Coach of the Year. Marty led his Ithaca College Bombers to a third-place finish at this year's National Championships. Coach Nichols was also indicted into the DIII Wrestling Hall of Fame at the annual event held on Thursday evening, prior to the Championships.

Baldwin Wallace Assistant Coach, and previous NWCA Leadership Academy graduate in 2015, Jason Zastrow won the NWCA Assistant Coach of the Year. Coach Zastrow helped lead the Yellowjackets to a 15th-place finish at this year's National Championships.

Jim Wertman, Delaware Valley head coach, was named the NWCA Rookie Coach of the Year. Jim Wertman was a 2017 NWCA Leadership Academy graduate. This year, he led his team to a 7-10 overall dual meet record. In his inaugural year coaching at Delaware Valley he led his team to a 37th place finish in the National Championships and notched his first national placer and All-American in 133 pounder Brenden Velez.

Lucas Jeske, the National Champion at 165 pounds, from Augsburg, was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Championships. Lucas pinned his first three opponents, which led him to the championship match. Lucas won his championship bout with a 15-0 technical fall win over Ithaca's Nick Velez.

Jake Ashcraft, an Ithaca College Bomber, won the award for most pins in the least amount of time. Jake finished in third place, and pinned four out of the six individuals he wrestled. His fastest pin took just one minute and six seconds (1:06). Two of his other pins were garnered in under two minutes each.

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