Races remain close in chase for NCAA awards

PSU's Bo Nickal leads the Most Dominant standings in Division I (Photo/Sam Janicki,

INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA has released updated 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 results to be counted 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.

This week features the second release of the Most Dominant Wrestler standings for the 2018-19 season, which features a 16-match minimum to earn a ranking.

The No. 1 ranked team in the country is appropriately well represented as three Nittany Lions lead the pack for most dominant in Division I. Bo Nickal is first for Penn State by producing 5.37 average team points per match, followed by Jason Nolf (5.15) and Vincenzo Joseph (4.94). That trio of national champions is followed by another title holder in Cornell 141-pounder Yianni Diakomihalis in fourth at 4.88 points per match.

St. Cloud State's Vince Dietz paces Division II with 4.71 points per match at 197 pounds. A pair of Pittsburgh-Johnstown wrestlers, Chris Eddins Jr. (4.5), and Brock Biddle (4.14) are second and third, while Lindenwood (Missouri) 125-pounder Carlos Jacquez is the only other DII wrestler with an average over four at 4.05.

SUNY Oneonta heavyweight James Bethel is pulling away for Division III most dominant with 5.48 team points per match. Wartburg's Brennen Doebel and Stevens' Troy Stanich are separated by .03 points in the next two positions.

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)

Central Michigan heavyweight Matt Stencel picked up his 16th fall of the season last week to remain atop the Division I standings with one more than George Mason's Colston DiBlasi. Penn State's Nickal, the top-ranked wrestler at 197 pounds, pinned the No. 2 wrestler, Kollin Moore of Ohio State, for his 13th of the season and holds third position.

Lake Erie heavyweight Evan Loughman is the first Division II wrestler with double digit falls holding the national lead with 11. Nicholas Mason of Tiffin is the second with 10 at 197 pounds to hold second place, while Ryan Vasbinder of McKendree and James Laconte of Western Colorado have nine.

Waynesburg heavyweight Jakes Evans is the first wrestler in the country to reach 20 falls to lead Division III. Bethel and Da'mani Burns of JWU (Providence) are on the verge of the 20-fall milestone with 19 and Joseph Rossetti of Williams has 18.

Lock Haven 141-pounder Kyle Shoop tallied tech falls against Rider and Clarion last weekend to reach 14 on the season and build a lead of two over Oklahoma State's Daton Fix and four over the Cowboys' Nicholas Piccininni.

Nebraska-Kearney 125-pounder Josh Portillo picked up a quick tech fall over Fort Hays State on Sunday for his seventh of the season and by an aggregate time of 34:27 holds the national lead in Division II by 24 seconds over Mercyhurst's Logan Grass. Eddins of Pitt.-Johnstown holds solo third with five tech falls, while a throng of wrestlers are still in the running with four.

Messiah 149-pounder Stephen Maloney maintains sole possession of first place in Division III tech falls with 14, while Jay Albis of JWU (Providence) leads the chasers with 13 in second place.


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