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Fan voting for the 2016 WIN Magazine/Culture House Dan Hodge Trophy has begun. The Hodge Trophy is the top award in college wrestling and has been presented annually since 1994 to the nation’s most dominant collegiate wrestler.
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 36 of 46 victims.
Criteria for the award include: 1. A wrestler’s record; 2. number of pins; 3. dominance on the mat; 4. quality of competition; 5. past credentials; 6. sportsmanship/citizenship; and 7. heart. The first four criteria are the primary criteria. Number of pins is an extremely important criteria. Part of the reason the award was created was to elevate the importance of the pin, and to motivate top collegians to go for the fall. The Hodge Trophy is a single-season award. However, if you have two candidates who are virtually equal, consideration can be given to past credentials, which is criteria No. 5. The last two criteria should be used to help guide voters to select a winner who also is a good representative of the sport.
For the third straight year, fans are being asked to help select the winner from the four finalists. The winner will be announced on Monday, March 30. The winner of the fan vote will earn two first-place votes among the total ballots from a group of formal voters which includes each former Hodge Trophy winner, national media, representatives of national wrestling organizations and retired former college coaches from different regions.
The deadline for your vote is this Friday, March 25, at 5:00 pm CST.
The following is a statistical breakdown, in alphabetical order, of the four undefeated NCAA champions of 2015.
165 pounds, Oklahoma State, Senior, Pt. Washington, Wisc.
The Cowboy recently wrapped up his college career by becoming the 16th all-time Oklahoma State wrestler to win three NCAA championships with a 6-2 victory over Wisconsin’s Isaac Jordan. Dieringer ended his career on 82-match winning streak. That included a 33-0 mark this year with 12 pins as well as titles at the Southern Scuffle and Big 12 Championships.
133 pounds, Cornell U., Senior, Chico, Calif.
The four-time All-American Garrett captured his first national championship with a perfect 37-0 record, matching a school record for most wins without a loss in a season. He also ended his career with 149 wins, second on the school’s list and became Cornell’s 13th national champion. His 20 wins in NCAA tournament competition tied a record previously held by four-time national champion Kyle Dake.
149 pounds, Penn State, Sophomore, Benton, Pa.
One year after redshirting, the two-time All-American captured his first NCAA championship with a 10-1 major decision against Iowa’s Brandon Sorensen, the same opponent the Nittany Lion beat in the Big Ten Championships. Retherford also won the Southern Scuffle in January and at one point won 14 consecutive matches by scoring bonus points.
Heavyweight, Ohio State, Sophomore, Woodbine, Md.
The Buckeye capped off an incredible year-long period that first saw Snyder become the youngest American to ever win a World freestyle championship last September, he then spent much of this winter wrestling overseas before returning to the Ohio State line-up in January. In wrestling just 11 college bouts this season, Snyder scored bonus points in eight of them and recently defeated NC State’s two-time defending national champion Nick Gwiazdowski for his first NCAA championship.
* WIN’s ‘Online Fan Voting Poll’ will be one component of #TheHodge Trophy selection.