CMU's Matt Stencel tops the leaderboard in falls with 12 (Photo/Sam Janicki, SJanickiPhoto.com)
INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA has released the debut standings for the 2019 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.
For falls and tech falls to be counted they must come against opponents in the same division (i.e. Division II vs. Division II). Ties in the two categories are broken based on the aggregate time.
Division I is paced in falls by Central Michigan heavyweight Matt Stencel and George Mason 165-pounder Colston DiBlasi with 12 falls. Stencel has made much quicker work of his opponents to hold the aggregate time tiebreaker by 25 minutes over DiBlasi. Kent State's Andrew McNally is the only other Division I wrestler in double digits with 10 falls at 184 pounds.
A three-way tie with eight falls marks the Division II standings between Lake Erie's Evan Loughman, Upper Iowa's Justin Folley and Seton Hill's Alan Diltz. Loughman wins the tiebreaker with an aggregate time of 17:01 at heavyweight to rank first ahead of 133-pounders Folley and Diltz.
Heavyweights lead the way in all three divisions as SUNY Oneonta's James Bethel is the sole leader in Division III with 12 falls ahead of an eight-way logjam of wrestlers with 11 falls. Heidelberg 184-pounder Dylan Roth leads that tight group to take second place overall with an aggregate time of 17:45.
Last year's winner for most tech falls is off to a strong start to repeat in Division I as Lock Haven's Kyle Shoop has started this season with 10 tech falls. Oklahoma State 133-pounder Daton Fix is second with nine, while Minnesota's 2017 NCAA finalist Ethan Lizak is third with eight.
A pair of 184-pounders pace Division II with four tech falls as Central Oklahoma's Heath Gray holds the tiebreaker in aggregate time, 18:13 to 19:44, over Daniel Bishop of Augustana (South Dakota). UIndy heavyweight Dylan Faulkenberg leads an eight-way tie of three tech falls compiling his in just over eight minutes.
Messiah 149-pounder Stephen Maloney has earned 11 tech falls in Division III to lead by two over Heidelberg's Jeremiah Slagle and three over Mount Union 133-pounder Jordin James.
The initial Most Dominant Wrestler standings will be released later this season to allow wrestlers to achieve the minimum amount of matches required to be eligible for the standings.