Valencia named winner of The Hammer Award by AWN

Zahid Valencia finished the season with a 31-2 record an route to repeating as NCAA champion (Photo/Mark Lundy,

Amateur Wrestling News will present The Hammer, its annual award, to Arizona State's 174-pounder Zahid Valencia.

The award is presented to the wrestler who wins the national title at what the writers at AWN decide is the most competitive weightclass every season.

Valencia won the 174 pound title this year in Pittsburgh, defeating Penn State's 2017 NCAA champion Mark Hall in the finals. There were two NCAA champs at the weight (Valencia and Hall) and a total of eight returning All Americans. Valencia finished the season 31-2, with his losses being to Hall and Missouri's Daniel Lewis. He avenged both at the NCAAs.

Past recipients of The Hammer include Logan Stieber (Ohio State), Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State), Bo Nickal (Penn State), and Spencer Lee (Iowa).

An award is only as prestigious as the quality of those who have previously won it.


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DannyClarke (1) about 5 months ago
Congrats to Zahid on a great year. I would've given the award to Suriano based on the criteria. 133 was the deepest weight and Suriano avenged all 3 of his losses, won the big10s and ncaas.
State112 (1) about 5 months ago
🤔😱Hands down the award should go to anyone who beat a 2 time Ncaa champion 7-1. Congrats to Mekhi . I thought Vincenzo should of won it when he beat Isaiah. ( I respectfully disagree)