Photo: Sam Janicki

Wells named NCAA Division II Freshman of the Year

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.

Central Oklahoma's Garrett Wells has been named The Open Mat's 2024 NCAA Division II Freshman of the Year.

Wells, a native of Glenpool, Oklahoma, became a freshman All-American at 184 pounds by placing sixth at the 2024 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships. His national tournament points helped Central Oklahoma repeat as national champion.

After a strong redshirt season in which he compiled a record of 16-1 (lone loss coming by medical forfeit to a teammate), Wells stepped in the UCO lineup and made an immediate impact. His first tournament title came at the Viking Open in December. The following month Wells won a title at the prestigious Midwest Classic, defeating multiple All-Americans en route to claiming the championship. Wells won the Super Regional IV title by going 3-0, which included a pin, major decision and 4-1 victory in the finals.

Wells entered the 2024 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships as the No. 4 seed at 184 pounds. After dropping his first match, Wells put together a strong run on the consolation side of the bracket, winning three straight matches to secure All-America honors. He was defeated narrowly, in overtime, in the consolation semifinals before dropping his fifth-place match.

He finished the season with a 32-10 record.