NCAA SESSION V NOTES: Wrestling/football star Hokit becomes first Fresno State All-American since reinstatement

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | March 23, 2019, 3:58 p.m. (ET)
Josh Hokit of Fresno State placed fifth at 197 pounds at the 2019 NCAA Championships. Photo by John Sachs, Tech-Fall.com

College wrestling on the Div. I level is tough enough, without trying to also be a successful Div. I football player as well. Throw in the fact that it’s very difficult to win at a program which is recently reinstated, and you have the story of Josh Hokit.

His impressive fifth-place finish at 197 pounds made him Fresno State’s first All-American since its reinstatement last year, and the first Bulldog wrestling All-American since 2003.

A fullback for the Bulldog football team who has seen substantial action in their games, Hokit is about as tough as they get, playing football, jumping right into wrestling, then going back for spring football. It is a lifestyle he got used to in high school and has continued in college.

When asked to compare being an All-American wrestler to competing in a major Div. I football game, Hokit says there is no comparison. The individual aspect of wrestling makes it something so meaningful to him that he has trouble describing it. Check out Hokit’s interview after winning his fifth place match.

Pennsylvania produces the most 2019 NCAA All-Americans – Norm Palovcsik of the Pennsylvania Roundup annually tracks what states the NCAA All-Americans come from. Only All-Americans compete on Saturday at the NCAAs. Here is the state-by-state breakdown, with the host state on top.
16 – Pennsylvania
9 – New Jersey
6 – Michigan, Ohio, Illinois
5 – New York, Missouri
4 – California
3 – Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana
2 – Texas, Oregon, Oklahoma, Colorado
1 – Arizona, Florida, Montana, Georgia, Kansas, Canada

Penn State has the most All-Americans in 2019
7 – Penn State
6 – Iowa
5 – Ohio State, Oklahoma State
4 – Missouri, Cornell, Nebraska, Minnesota
3 – Michigan, Virginia Tech, Arizona State, Lehigh, Princeton
2 – Rutgers, Northern Iowa, Iowa State, Oregon State, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Lock Haven, Northwestern
1 – NC State, Virginia, Duke, Illinois, Oklahoma, Maryland, Central Michigan, Old Dominion, Fresno State, Michigan State

Finals start at heavyweight, and ends with Nickal v. Moore at 197 pounds – This morning, the NCAA announced that the finals will begin tonight at heavyweight, and go in order with the final match of the evening between two-time NCAA champion Bo Nickal of Penn State against regular Big Ten rival Kollin Moore of Ohio State. Nickal beat Moore in the Big Ten and in their dual meet this year. Last year, Nickal was champion at 184 but went up in weight this year.

Geer is lowest seed to win All-American honors and finishes seventh – Dakota Geer of Oklahoma State, who finished No. 26 at 184 pounds is the lowest seed to become an All-American in 2019, the first year that the NCAA seeded the entire tournament. Geer finished seventh, beating No. 3 seed Zach Zavatsky of Virginia Tech in his medal match. The higher seeds Geer beat throughout the tournament included No. 7 Reenan, No 25 Lyon, No. 2 Rasheed, No. 13 Bonaccorsi and No. 3 Zavatsky.

Lower seeds beating higher seeds in the medal matches
: In the medal rounds, here are the matches where a lower seed beat a higher seed to win the higher medal.
Third place
149 - No. 6 Austin O'connor Pittsboro, NC (North Carolina) DEC No. 3 Mitch Finesilver (Duke), 7-5
165 - No. 4 Chance Marsteller (Lock Haven) DEC No. 4 Evan Wick (Wisconsin), 6-5
174 - No. 4 Myles Amine (Michigan) DEC No. 2 Daniel Lewis (Missouri), 4-2
Fifth place
149 - No. 5 Matthew Kolodzik (Princeton) DEC No. 4 Brock Mauller (Missouri), 10-6
157 - No. 6 Kaleb Young (Iowa) DEC No. 3 Ryan Deakin (Northwestern), 7-5 SV
165 - No. 7 Isaiah White (Nebraska) DEC No. 3 Joshua Shields (Arizona State), 8-4
197 - No. 16 Josh Hokit (Fresno State) DEC No. 6 William Miklus (Iowa State), 7-2 TB2
Seventh place
125 - No. 9 Rayvon Foley (Michigan State) DEC No. 4 Ronnie Bresser (Oregon State), 7-4
157 - No.9 Christian Pagdilao (Arizona State) DEC No. 7 Larry Early (Old Dominion), 3-2
184 - No. 26 Dakota Geer (Oklahoma State) DEC No. 3 Zack Zavatsky Blacksburg, VA (Virginia Tech), 5-4
285 – No. 9 Matt Stencel (Central Michigan) DEC No. 7 Trent Hillger (Wisconsin), 3-1

A few quick notes

* The consolation semifinal bout at 125 between Sebastian Rivera of Northwestern and Patrick Glory of Princeton, won by Rivera, has a history, as they wrestled each other in the New Jersey state finals in high school.
* Also at 125, the third-place bout and the fifth-place bout were rematches from the quarterfinals, and the same wrestler won both times. Here are their medal match results:
3rd Place Match - Sebastian Rivera (Northwestern) 30-2 won by decision over Vitali Arujau (Cornell) 31-4 (Dec 8-3)
5th Place Match - Nicholas Piccininni (Oklahoma State) 34-2 won by fall over Pat Glory (Princeton) 30-7 (Fall 5:29)