Hodge Trophy Fan Voting Now Open!
The four finalists for the 2019 Hodge Trophy, awarded to the most dominant and impressive NCAA wrestler, have been announced and they are all undefeated national champions. In alphabetical order, they are: Anthony Ashnault of Rutgers, Yianni Diakomihalis of Cornell, Bo Nickal of Penn State, and Jason Nolf of Penn State. Each of these champions just finished an undefeated national campaign and the winner will be recognized as the pound-for-pound best college wrestler of the year. Fans can make their voices heard here.
The award is named after Dan Hodge, the former three-time (1955-57) NCAA champion from the University of Oklahoma, who did not allow a takedown in his career and pinned all but ten opponents.
Criteria for the award include:
Anthony Ashnault is now a four-time All-American, and one of Rutgers' first ever NCAA champions, along with teammate Nick Suriano. Anthony won the title at 149lbs with a win in the finals over Ohio State's Micah Jordan, and went undefeated on the year wrestling out of the Big Ten. The South Planfield native went 32-0, the highest undefeated record of the year, with almost 60% of those wins coming by bonus points.
Yianni Diakomihalis of Cornell won his second NCAA title, in only his second year of college. To date, he has lost only one college wrestling match, and is on pace to be one of the greatest NCAA wrestlers of all time. The Rochester, New York grappler beat Joey McKenna of Ohio State in the finals, after winning his second EIWA title at conferences. He pinned 7, teched 7, and majored 7 wrestlers for a 59% bonus rate for his 29-0 record.
Senior Penn State 197-pound wrestler Bo Nickal won his third NCAA championship in four years, placing 2-1-1-1. Bo went 30-0, with 37 of those wins coming by bonus including an incredible 18 pins. Bo won in the finals against Ohio State's Kollin Moore 5-1, and is considering by many to be the favorite for this award.
Jason Nolf of Penn State also won his third championship, placing 2-1-1-1 in the 157lb championship bracket in his four years as a Nittany Lion. Jason Nolf secured an 87% bonus rate, including 15 pins, 5 tech falls, and 6 majors. Nolf and Nickalshare the distinction of being the first two 3-time champion teammates, in the same graduating year.