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NCAA debuts wrestling award standings for 2019-20 season

Cornell's Ben Darmstadt leads Division I with 11 falls (Photo/Sam Janicki, SJanickiPhoto.com)

INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA has released the debut standings for the 2020 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 for the awards 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 led in falls by Cornell 197-pounder Ben Darmstadt with 11 this season, but close behind is 2019 award winner Matt Stencel of Central Michigan with 10 in the category. George Mason's Colston DiBlasi rounds out the top three with nine falls at 149 pounds.

Tiffin teammates Hayden Bronne and Nicholas Mason pace Division II with nine falls apiece. Bronne holds the early tiebreaker over 2019 197-pound national champion Mason with a 12-minute lead in aggregate time (13:20 - 25:42). Jacob Robb of Mercyhurst is just one back as the only wrestler in Division II with eight falls.

Joe Salerno of Washington & Lee leads all NCAA divisions with 14 falls at 149 pounds in Division III, which is two more than his closest pursuers. A trio of wrestlers have tallied a dozen falls this season with Jordan Blanchard of Wisconsin-Oshkosh holding the tiebreaker with the lowest aggregate time of 17:54 over Kaidon Winters of RIT and Travis Brown of Castleton.

George Mason redshirt senior Alex Madrigal already holds a commanding lead in the race for the most tech falls in Division I with 10, four more than second place Quentin Perez of Campbell. Purdue 125-pounder Devin Schroder holds the time tiebreaker over three other wrestlers with five tech falls to sit in third.

Division II features a five-way tie of wrestlers with four tech falls to open the season. Last year's national runner-up at 125 pounds, Josh Portillo of Nebraska-Kearney, holds the tiebreaker advantage with an aggregate time of 15:32. That is more than two minutes better than second place Myles Starke of Lander. Ryan Vasbinder (McKendree), Curtis Cox (Alderson Broaddus) and Branson Proudlock (Findlay) round out the quartet of wrestlers with four tech falls in Division II.

Roger Williams 149-pounder Tyler Gazaway is the sole leader in Division III tech falls with nine, while Ahken Chu (SUNY Oneonta) and Travis Jones (Ithaca) are right behind him with eight tech falls. Three more wrestlers are within striking distance with seven tech falls this season.

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.

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