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How will the 2022 postseason separate Hodge Trophy candidates?
Photo: The only two highly-ranked undefeated wrestlers who could meet in the upcoming conference tournaments would be Penn State’s Nick Lee (left) and Rutgers’ Sebastian Rivera at 141 pounds at the 2022 Big Ten Championships, March 5-6, in Lincoln, Neb. (Photo by Tony Rotundo/WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
By Mike Finn
Over the next month, NCAA Division I wrestlers will vie for conference championships in the first week of March, then go after NCAA titles two weeks later at the NCAA Division I Championships in Detroit, Mich. Those two weekends will also eventually determine which of the current 18 highly-ranked undefeated wrestlers will also capture the 2022 WIN Magazine/Culture House Dan Hodge Trophy, presented by ASICS.
There are candidates at nine of the ten weights, but the majority of possible head-to-head meetings would not happen until the national tournament. The only possible match-up of undefeated wrestlers would be between Penn State’s defending national champion Nick Lee and Rutgers’ All-American Sebastian Rivera at the Big Ten Championships.
The prestigious award was named after the late Dan Hodge, the three-time (1955-57) NCAA champion from Oklahoma, who never allowed a takedown and pinned 75 percent of his career victims. Scoring bonus points will eventually help determine the eventual Hodge Trophy winner on March 28, when WIN Magazine, Cutlure House and ASICS announces the honoree.
After the regular season, Minnesota heavyweight Gable Steveson — who shared last year’s Trophy with Iowa’s Spencer Lee — has scored bonus points in all of his victories. Missouri’s Keegan O’Toole (165 pounds) has the most falls (6), one ahead of Oklahoma State’s Daton Fix (133), Cornell’s Yianni Diakomihalis (149) and Arizona State’s Cohlton Schultz (Hwt).
Statistical Look at Notable 2022 Hodge Trophy Candidates
The following list shows wrestlers who have earned All-American status before and are currently undefeated. The list also includes how many pins (P), technical falls (TF) and major decisions (MD) each wrestler has through Feb. 20. The final column shows the % of matches in which they’ve scored bonus points.
|Roman Bravo-Young||Penn State||Jr.||14-0||3||4||2||0||64.2%|
|Daton Fix||Oklahoma State||Jr.||17-0||5||3||3||0||64.7%|
|Nick Lee||Penn State||Sr.||14-0||1||2||5||0||57.1%|
|Tariq Wilson||NC State||Sr.||13-0||1||1||1||0||23%|
|David Carr||Iowa State||So.||17-0||4||4||4||0||70.5%|
|Jacori Teemer||Arizona State||Jr.||17-0||0||2||3||0||29.4%|
|Evan Wick||Cal Poly||Sr.||17-0||0||5||5||1||68.7%|
|Carter Starocci||Penn State||RSFr.||15-0||2||5||4||0||73.3%|
|Aaron Brooks||Penn State||So.||14-0||3||1||6||0||71.4%|
|Trent Hidlay||NC State||So.||15-0||4||3||6||0||86.7%|
|Cohlton Schultz||Arizona State||RSFr.||16-0||5||0||5||0||62.5%|
All-Time Hodge Winners/Announcement Stories/Winner’s Stats
|2019||Bo Nickal||Penn State|
|2018||Zain Retherford||Penn State|
|2017||Zain Retherford||Penn State|
|2016||Alex Dieringer||Oklahoma State|
|2015||Logan Stieber||Ohio State|
|2014||David Taylor||Penn State|
|2013||Kyle Dake||Cornell U.|
|2012||David Taylor||Penn State|
|2005||Steve Mocco||Oklahoma State|
|2004||Emmett Willson||Mont. State-Northern|
|2003||Eric Larkin||Arizona State|
|2002||Cael Sanderson||Iowa State|
|2001||Cael Sanderson||Iowa State|
|&||Nick Ackerman||Simpson College|
|2000||Cael Sanderson||Iowa State|
|1999||Stephen Neal||CSU Bakersfield|
|1997||Kerry McCoy||Penn State|
|1996||Les Gutches||Oregon State|
|1995||T.J. Jaworsky||North Carolina|