The just-concluded college wrestling season could be declared The Year of the Freshman, as a number of first-year wrestlers made their presence known on the mat. One – Northwestern’s Jason Tsirtsis – has been named InterMat Freshman of the Year, the amateur wrestling website revealed Tuesday.
The award has been presented to the top freshman wrestler in all divisions, based on voting of writers and executives at InterMatWrestle.com, since 2006.
Tsirtsis, the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships 149-pound titlewinner, received a total of 76 votes, including five first-place votes. The other freshman champ crowned in Oklahoma City March 22 – 197-pound champ J’Den Cox of the University of Missouri – placed second in the balloting, with 70 votes, earning three first-place votes. In third place was Penn State’s Zain Retherford, All-American at 141, with 48 votes… followed by Cornell 184-pound All-American Gabe Dean with 31 votes, and King University’s Haley Augello, WCWA 116-pound national women’s champ, with 10 votes. Dean and Augello each received one first-place vote.
Tsirsis capped off a 32-3 first-year record as a Wildcat with the Big Ten title… followed two weeks later with an NCAA title, having defeated Oklahoma State’s Josh Kindig, 3-1, in the finals to win the 149-pound crown, becoming Northwestern’s first NCAA champ since Jake Herbert in 2009.
InterMat’s Freshman of the Year announcement is the second of three planned. On Friday, Penn State's David Taylor was named 2014 InterMat Wrestler of the Year. According to the Tsirtsis award announcement, InterMat will reveal its Coach of the Year later this week.
Want to know more? For a complete list of wrestlers receiving votes for 2014 InterMat Freshman of the Year -- as well as past winners -- click here.
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