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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.– Penn State Nittany Lion wrestler Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.) has been nominated for a 2017 ESPY Award as announced by ESPN and on social media yesterday afternoon. Retherford is up for the 2017 Best Male College Athlete honor, which will be announced during ESPN’s July 12 broadcast of the 2017 ESPYs.
Fans can vote online now here: VOTE NOW!. Retherford is one of five finalists, including Ian Harkes (Wake Forest, men’s soccer); Frank Mason (Kansas, men’s basketball); Matt Rambo (Maryland, men’s lacrosse); and DeShaun Watson (Clemson, football).
The honor is the latest for Retherford who concluded one of Penn State’s most dominant individual seasons ever with his NCAA title run in St. Louis on March 16-18. Retherford was recently named Penn State’s Male Student-Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive year and is a finalist for Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year. Retherford was honored as the Hodge Trophy Winner as the nation’s top collegiate wrestler. The honor is wrestling’s Heisman Trophy. He was also named InterMat Wrestler of the Year. Retherford’s season accolades now include: the 2017 Hodge Award winner as the nation’s top wrestler; 2017 NCAA Champion (149); 2017 NCAA Championships Outstanding Wrestler; 2017 NCAA Most Dominant Wrestler (season-long); 2017 Big Ten Champion (149); 2017 Big Ten Championship Outstanding Wrestler; 2017 First Team All-Big Ten; 2017 Academic All-Big Ten.; 2017 CoSIDA First Team Academic All-District (at-large); 2017 CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American (at-large); 2017 NWCA National All-Academic Team; 2017 U.S. World Team Trials Champion.
Retherford, Penn State’s 26th three-time All-American, is now tied for 17th on Penn State’s all-time NCAA wins list with 14 and heads into next year having won 63 straight bouts. He is the seventh two-time NCAA Champion in school history. The Lion went 5-0 with four technical falls and a pin at the tournament and ends the season with a 28-0 mark with 17 pins, seven techs and a major. Retherford was named the 2017 NCAA Championships Outstanding Wrestler for his effort. The junior was also honored for his season long dominance as the 2017 NCAA Most Dominant Wrestler. He heads into his season with a 95-3 career record that includes 36 pins, 17 technical falls and 17 majors. He was won the last two NCAA and Big Ten Championships during his 63-match streak.
Penn State won its sixth NCAA national championship in the last seven years in St. Louis earlier this month and Retherford played a huge role in that victory. The Nittany Lion junior was one of five Penn State individuals to win NCAA titles during the Championship Finals on Saturday night, March 18. Penn State also won the 2017 Big Ten Regular season crown and the NWCA Dual Championship Series title, going 14-0 overall with a 9-0 mark in conference action. Penn State returns nine of starters, eight of nine NCAA qualifiers and all six of its 2017 All-Americans for next the 2017-18 season.
Penn State Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at @pennstateWREST, on Penn State Wrestling’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/pennstatewrest. The 2016-17 Penn State wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline. This is PENN STATE. WRESTLING lives here.