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Update on Top Hodge Contenders Entering the NCAAs

Updated: February 26, 2015

The following is a list of undefeated and top-ranked wrestlers — including stats and notes prior the 2015 NCAA Championshps — who are considered top contenders to win the WIN Magazine/Culture House Dan Hodge Trophy.hodge-trophy(color)

ASICS flat brandmarkThe winner of the award, named after Oklahoma’s former three-time NCAA champion Dan Hodge and created by WIN founder Mike Chapman, will be announced the week following the March 19-21 national tournament.

Fan-Vote Information: The official Hodge Trophy Voting Committee is made up of former Hodge winners, retired college coaches from different regions of the country, representatives of national wrestling organizations and a panel of national wrestling media members. In addition, wrestling fans also get an opportunity to officially vote on the award. Following the NCAA finals, a voting page will be put up on WIN’s website. The composite winner of the fan vote will receive two official votes.

Alan WatersSr.125Missouri29-0281

Alan WatersOther Notes: Waters returned from a redshirt season after claiming an All-American honor (fourth) in 2013. The Tiger won the Southern Scuffle, where he defeated defending national runner-up Nahshon Garrett. During the National Duals, Waters defeated two-time NCAA champ Jesse Delgado of Illinois.


Chris DardanesSr.133Minnesota23-0127

Dardanes ChrisxOther Notes: Dardanes dropped back down to 133 pounds, where he earned a pair of All-American honors in 2012 (fourth) and 2013 (sixth). He also won the Las Vegas Invitational in December.




Logan StieberSr.141Ohio State24-0963

Ohio State Mens WrestlingOther Notes: Stieber is looking to become just the fourth all-time wrestler — joining Pat Smith, Cael Sanderson and Kyle Dake — to win four national championships. The Buckeye defeated Jordan Oliver in the 2012 finals, Tony Ramos in the 2013 championship and Devin Carter in the 2014 title bout.  He won the Las Vegas Invite for a fourth time in December and most recently defeated Edinboro’s Mitchell Port during the National Duals before collecting a fourth Big Ten championship.


Isaiah MartinezRSFr.157Illinois30-04106

isaiah martinezOther Notes: The Illini is in his first year as a starter after winning three California state championships for Lemoore High School. He won the Midlands in December where he recorded one technical fall and two major decisions. He also has defeated Nebraska All-American James Green and pinned Kent State’s Ian Miller. Most recently, Martinez defeated Minnesota’s Dylan Ness for the Big Ten championship.



Alex DieringerJr.165Oklahoma State26-0949

alex dieringerOther Notes: The Cowboy moved up to 165 after winning a national championship at 157 pounds last March, after also finishing third in 2013. Dieringer won the Southern Scuffle this winter, which included an 8-2 win over Virginia All-American Nick Sulzer. His last 13 matches all resulted in bonus points, including a major decision against Iowa State’s Mike Moreno in the Big 12 final.


Robert KokeshSr.174Nebraska33-0837

robert kokeshOther Notes: The Husker is a two-time All-American, claiming third in 2013 and fourth in 2014. Kokesh won two notable tournaments this winter: the Las Vegas Invitational championship (beating Virginia’s Blaise Butler in the final) and the Southern Scuffle (defeating Penn State’s Matt Brown for the title). Kokesh then beat the Nittany Lion a second time for a second straight Big Ten championship.


J’den CoxSo.197Missouri33-0847

J'den Cox2Other Notes: One year removed from winning four Missouri state high school titles, the native of Columbia won the 2014 NCAA championship as a true freshman last March, when he defeated Ohio State’s Nick Heflin. This year, Cox won the Southern Scuffle and also won five matches at heavyweight, including Oklahoma’s Ross Larsen and Ohio State’s Nick Tavanello.


Nick GwiazdowskiJr.HwtNC State30-01418

nick gwiazdowskiOther Notes: Gwiazdowski, who began his collegiate career at Binghamton (where he earned All-American honors in 2012), transferred with his coach Pat Popolizio to NC State. After redshirting in 2013, he won a national championship for the Wolfpack last March, when he defeated two-time champ Anthony Nelson of Minnesota in the final. Gwiazdowski won the Las Vegas Invitational in December.

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