Photo: Campbellsville Athletics

Yancey selected NAIA Men's Freshman of the Year by The Open Mat

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 Freshman of the Year, Coach of the Year and Wrestler of the Year.

The Open Mat's 2024 NAIA Men's Freshman of the Year is Campbellsville's Nick Yancey.

Yancey came to Campbellsville as a three-time Florida state champion from Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale. In his true freshman campaign at 141 pounds, Yancey compiled a record of 28-4 with four pins and 11 technical falls. This put his bonus percentage over 50% to go along with his 88% winning percentage. He posted a perfect 13-0 record in dual meets, won a Mid-South Conference title and became an All-American as a freshman.

At the 2024 NAIA Men's Wrestling Championship, Yancey's lone loss came to top-seeded Evan Potter of Southern Oregon in the semifinals. He bounced back to defeat three-time All-American Caden Manion of Oklahoma City before avenging one of his earlier season losses to Kael Brisker of Southeastern to place third.

Beyond his accolades on the mat, Yancey also displayed courage, heart and resilience at the national tournament. Shortly before the national tournament, Yancey's teammate and fellow freshman wrestler Josiah Kilman was killed in his dorm. Yancey wrestled well under tragic circumstances, becoming one of four All-Americans for Campbellsville and helping the program to a sixth-place finish.