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Walsh, Steen, Fickel, Vesta, Lenhardt top fall guys in NCAA award standings

NCAA announces initial standings for wrestling awards for all three divisions
NCAA announces initial standings for wrestling awards for all three divisions

Taylor Walsh, Ian Steen, Brent Fickel, Jeffrey Vesta and Colin Lenhardt are college wrestling’s leading pinners to date in the 2014 NCAA Wrestling Awards competition, according to initial standings released by the NCAA Wednesday.

The annual awards, now in their third season, honor athletes in each of three divisions – Division I, II and III -- who have accumulated the most falls and technical falls during the entire season (including postseason competition). In addition, there is a Most Dominant Wrestler Award for each division. The awards will be presented at each division’s 2014 NCAA Wrestling Championships.

As of this week, Walsh and Lenhardt are the leading pinners within Division I and III, respectively… while there’s a three-way tie in the pin parade in Division II between Steen, Fickel and Vesta.

In Division I, Walsh, Indiana University’s 157-pound starter, has scored the most falls of all college wrestlers so far this season, with 19… holding down a substantial seven-pin lead over Bucknell heavyweight Joe Stolfi, ranked second with 12 pins.

There’s a three-way tie for most prolific pinner in Division II. Newberry 125-pounder Jeffrey Vesta, along with two 149 pounders -- Ashland’s Brent Fickel, and Western State’s Ian Steen – each have eight falls. In case there’s a tie at the end of the season, the wrestler who scored the most pins in the least amount of time will win the award. Right now, Steen is in the lead, with a cumulative time of 30 minutes, 5 seconds… followed by Fickel at 33:58, and Vesta at 40:14.

The Division III wrestler with the greatest propensity to put his opponents’ shoulders to the mat is Colin Lenhardt of Johnson & Wales. The 184-pound wrestler from the Rhode Island-based school has tallied 14 falls.

In terms of tech falls, two 133-pounders lead the way at this stage of the 2013-14 season: Cody Brewer of University of Oklahoma in Division I, with seven tech falls… and Division II Lake Erie’s Austin Gillihan, with six. Shane Siefert, who wrestles at 197 for University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, is in first place in the initial Division III standings with six.

Initial standings for Most Dominant Wrestler in each of the three NCAA divisions will be announced at a later date. This award is calculated by adding the total number of points awarded through match outcomes (i.e., a win by pin is worth six points; a regular decision, three) for each wrestler… then that total is divided by total number of matches. A wrestler must have competed in at least 12 bouts to be in the running for Most Dominant honors.

Want to know more? To see a list of the top ten wrestlers in terms of pins and technical falls for each of the three NCAA Divisions, click here.

Take a look back... Check out College Wrestling Examiner's list Top Ten Stories of 2013.

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