Zain Retherford (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)
INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA has released the updated standings for the 2017 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. Ties in the two categories are broken based on the aggregate time.
In Division I, Penn State 149-pounder Zain Retherford leads the first release of standings for the Most Dominant Wrestler Award. Retherford is contributing 5.60 team points per match for the 2016 national champions. Teammate Bo Nickal is second with 5.50 points at 184 pounds, while Cornell 184-pounder Gabe Dean and Penn State 157-pounder Jason Nolf are third with 5.40 points.
Francis Mizia of Mercyhurst leads Division II with an average of 5.00 points at 165 pounds, while Montrail Johnson of Wisconsin-Parkside is second with 4.71 points. Lance Evans of Wartburg has a commanding lead in Division III with an average of 5.56 team points per match at heavyweight.
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.
The initial Most Dominant Wrestler standings are calculated with a 14-match minimum against wrestlers from the same division.
Dean maintains his hold on the national lead for falls in Division I with 14, while Chad Walsh of Rider is second with 12 at 165 pounds. Heavyweight Garrett Gray of Tiffin leads Division II with 11 falls, while Kevin Barrett of Nebraska-Kearney and Ronald Wardleigh of Western State each have 10. Hunter Harris of Messiah has pulled ahead in Division III with 24 falls this season at 141 pounds, six more than his nearest competitor.
True freshman Jack Mueller of Virginia leads Division I in tech falls with nine this season at 125 pounds, but is only holding off heavyweight Thomas Haines of Lock Haven by aggregate time. Mueller's nine tech falls have come in 33:47, 20 minutes less than Haines.
Division II features a logjam of six wrestlers that have tallied six tech falls this season. Aggregate time comes into play again with 184-pounder Nicholas Fiegener of California Baptist tallying his tech falls in 19:38 to take the top position, two minutes less than Martin Ramirez of Adams State in second.
Stephen Jarrell of Johnson & Wales (Rhode Island) has 14 tech falls at 174 pounds to hold a lead of two over Jason Lynch of Chicago at 197 pounds.