KEARNEY — University of Nebraska at Kearney senior golfer Maaika Mestl and redshirt sophomore wrestlers Matt Malcom and Josh Portillo were named to the Google Cloud At-Large Academic All-American team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Portillo made the men’s at-large first-team while Malcom was on the third-team. Mestl was voted to the women’s at large third-team.
Portillo, Malcom and Mestl were all previously named to the Academic All-District VII team. Sports information directors from within each District nominate and vote on the makeup of the teams. Current Loper head coach Dalton Jensen (2012) and Mark Fiala (2014) are UNK wrestling’s only previous CoSIDA Academic All-Americans. Mestl becomes the first honoree for women’s golf.
Malcom went wire-to-wire this year at 157 pounds, winning the national title and ending his year on a 20-match winning streak. The MIAA’s Most Dominant Wrestler, he ended up his second season at UNK with a 29-5 mark that included six falls, seven tech falls and eight majors. Malcom out scored his competition 50-7 at the NCAA Championships and maintains a 3.76 GPA in Elementary Education.
Portillo, the D2 Wrestling Elite 90 Award winner, was national runner-up at 125 pounds. Having a 3.97 GPA in health and physical education and interscholastic coaching, he went 32-7 this winter and was among the national leaders in tech falls with 13. The South Dakota State transfer is a two-time All-American.
Mestl graduated with a 4.00 GPA as an elementary education K-6 major and began work on a Master’s this spring. She also worked as a para at Meadowlark Elementary. On the course, Mestl was one of UNK’s top players last season, playing in all 21 rounds and ranking second on the team with a 79.19 stroke average. Mestl ended a four-year career with the second-most rounds (83) in Loper history, as well as the ninth (83.71) lowest stroke average.