Photo: Sam Janicki

The Open Mat NAIA Women's Wrestler of the Year: Adaugo Nwachukwu

The Open Mat presents awards annually in three categories for each division of college wrestling at the conclusion of the season. Awards are presented for Wrestler of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Coach of the Year.

The Open Mat NAIA Women's Wrestler of the Year: Adaugo Nwachukwu (Iowa Wesleyan)

Iowa Wesleyan's Adaugo Nwachukwu has taken the college wrestling world by storm. After leaving Nigeria and moving to California in 2018, Nwachukwu discovered wrestling and quickly started her rapid ascension in the sport, going from fourth in the state tournament to becoming an undefeated state champion before moving into college wrestling. Last season, Nwachukwu won the NAIA national title as a freshman at Iowa Wesleyan and was named Most Outstanding Wrestler of the event. Nwachukwu made the U20 world team last year and went on to claim a bronze medal at the U20 World Championships last August in Sofia, Bulgaria. Nwachukwu was virtually unstoppable this season. In November, Nwachukwu shut out multiple-time cadet world medalist Alara Boyd of McKendree 6-0 at the NWCA All-Star Classic. She ran through the field at the Soldier Salute in December without surrendering a point, getting three technical falls and a fall. At the NAIA National Championships, Nwachukwu won her first three patches by fall before getting a 15-2 technical fall in the finals at 136 pounds. Nwachukwu finished the season undefeated at 31-0, with 29 of her victories coming by fall or technical fall.