Five Central Dutch wrestlers honored for academics

By Joe Flaherty, Central Sports Information

PELLA— Five Central College wrestlers were awarded National Wrestling Coaches Association Scholar All-American status Wednesday, the second most in program history.

National qualifiers Nathan Fritz (senior, 184 pounds, Sigourney) and Duncan Lee (senior, 285 pounds, Newton) headline the quintet of Dutch wrestlers. The other three wrestlers, Shandon Akeo (junior, 133 pounds, Honolulu, Kapolei HS), Daniel Radcliffe (senior, Lockport, Ill., Lockport Township HS) and Griffen McBride (junior, 174 pounds, Pleasantville), were all fourth-place finishers at the NCAA Division III Lower Midwest Regional.

To qualify for the award, a wrestler must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher and either place in the top six at the NCAA Division III regional or win more than 67 percent of his matches.

Fritz (24-4) is a three-time recipient of the Scholar All-America distinction. In 2019-20, he finished second at the NCAA Division III Lower Midwest Regional and earned his second bid to the NCAA Division III Championships. An athletic training major, Fritz has a 3.44 GPA.
Lee (27-6) is a two-time recipient of the Scholar All-America distinction. He went 4-0 at the regional meet to win the 285-pound title and secure the No. 3 seed at the national tournament. His GPA is 3.36 as a computer science and accounting major.

McBride (21-9) is a two-time recipient of the Scholar All-America distinction. He placed in the top-four at four meets this season, including the regional meet. He earned American Rivers all-conference honors for the first time this season. He’s an exercise science major with a 3.81 GPA.

Akeo (21-8) was an all-conference performer in his first season at Central after transferring in from a junior college. He was named the American Rivers Conference male athlete of the week on December 9 after his individual title at the MSOE Invitational. He’s currently undeclared with a 3.79 GPA.

Radcliffe (29-6) is a four-time all-conference performer. He was the tournament champion at this year’s MSOE Invitational and Central Under Armour Invitational. He also qualified for the national tournament in 2016-17. He’s an English major with a 3.20 GPA.