CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Albia native Nick Pickerell, a 2006 graduate of Centerville High School, was recently named first team all-Western Wrestling Conference while being named conference freshman of the year as a member of the University of Northern Iowa wrestling team.

The WWC announced that individuals earned their spots on the respective teams with their finish at the 2008 NCAA West Regional on March 8 in Fargo, N.D.

The University of Northern Iowa led the way with six first-team honorees. The United States Air Force Academy added two first-teamers. North Dakota State University and the University of Northern Colorado each had one wrestler on the first team.

UNI had all 10 wrestlers earn all-conference recognition. Air Force, Northern Colorado and the University of Wyoming all had five wrestlers earn all-league honors. Each school that competed at this year’s West Regional had at least one individual on the all-conference squads.

The Western Wrestling Conference is comprised of seven schools including the Air Force Academy, North Dakota State, Northern Colorado, Northern Iowa, South Dakota State, Utah Valley State and Wyoming. The conference formed in April 2006.

Air Force's Joel Sharratt was voted Coach of the Year, UNI's Nick Pickerell was named Freshman of the Year and UNI's Moza Fay earned Wrestler of Year honors. The awards were voted on by the league's head coaches.

Sharratt, who is in his second season as the Falcons' head wrestling coach, has been named the 2007-08 WWC Coach of the Year. He led Air Force to a second-place finish at the 2008 NCAA West Regional and qualified four wrestlers for the NCAA Championships. The Falcons posted a 9-9 overall dual mark to go along with a 3-2 record in WWC dual action.

Pickerell posted a 21-9 overall record and won the 149-pound West Regional title to earn a spot into the NCAA Championships. Pickerell lost an 8-6 decision to No. 12-seeded Morgan Atkinson (Cal State Fullerton) in his first-round NCAA match after leading 5-1. He scored a pair of wins over national qualifier Ryan Adam (NDSU) this season. Pickerell went 3-2 in dual action. He also picked up first-place honors in the 149-pound weight class at the Jim Fox Open on Dec. 8 and the Flash Flanagan Open on Jan. 5.

Pickerell was a 2006 graduate of Centerville High School. He capped off back-to-back state championships with the Class 2A 135-pound title his senior season. He also won the 130-pound 2A state title as a junior for the Albia Blue Demons.

Pickerell wrapped up his senior campaign with a perfect 55-0 record after finishing 36-0 as a junior. He compiled a career record of 166-9 that includes a second-place finish as a freshman, a third-place finish as a sophomore and two state championships.

He is the son of Mike and Karen Pickerell.

UNI's Fay (Anamosa, Iowa) has been named WWC Wrestler of the Year. Fay, 25-8 overall and 6-0 vs. WWC opponents, became the conference's first All-American after placing fifth at 165 pounds at the 2008 NCAA Championships. At the NCAAs, Fay went 5-2 with wins over ranked foes No. 5 Stephen Dwyer (Nebraska), No. 9 Trevor Stewert (Central Michigan) and No. 10 Michael Cannon (American). Fay earned his second trip to the NCAA Championships after winning the 165-pound NCAA West Regional title on March 8. Earlier this season he won the 165-pound title at the Loras Open on Nov. 10 and placed second at the Kaufman-Brand Open on Nov. 17. Fay led the Panthers this year with 11 pins.



2007-08 WWC ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM - FIRST TEAM

125 - Eric Hoffman (NDSU), Sr., Davenport, Iowa (Davenport North HS/Iowa Central CC)

133 - Josh Baldridge (UNI), Jr., Haysville, Kan. (Campus HS/Labette CC)

141 - Jake Kriegbaum (Air Force), Sr., Abilene, Kan. (Abilene HS)

149 - Nick Pickerell (UNI), R-Fr., Albia, Iowa (Centerville HS)

157 - Tyson Reiner (UNI), So., Mitchell, S.D. (Mitchell HS)

165 - Moza Fay (UNI), Jr., Anamosa, Iowa (Anamosa HS)

174 - Tyler French (Air Force), So., Malta, Mont. (Malta HS)

184 - Andy O’Loughlin (UNI), R-Fr., Independence, Iowa (Independence HS)

197 - Andrew Anderson (UNI), Jr., Sioux City, Iowa (Sioux City East HS)

285 - Reece Hopkin (Northern Colorado), Sr., Kersey, Colo. (Platte Valley HS)

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