Here’s looking at you, kid
Spencer Lee becomes Iowa’s first true frosh national champ since 1993
CLEVELAND — University of Iowa freshman Spencer Lee defeated Rutgers’ Nick Suriano by a 5-1 decision on Saturday night to win the 125-pound title at the NCAA Wrestling Championships.
Lee, the No. 3 seed, scored a takedown with three seconds left in the first period, escaped in the second, and added another takedown with 1:03 left in the third to top the fourth-seeded Suriano.
Suriano escaped in the closing seconds for the final 5-1 decision.
“I got to hug my teammates and my family. That was an awesome feeling,” Lee said. “I have the best teammates in the world. [Michael] Kemerer and [Brandon] Sorensen and [Alex] Marinelli, they’re great leaders; I can name the whole team. They did a good job of making me believe in myself and I think that’s why I’m here.”
Lee (22-2) is the 55th Hawkeye wrestler in program history to win an NCAA title. Those 55 champions have combined for 83 titles. He is first Hawkeye true freshman to win a national title since Lincoln McIlravy in 1993.
He finished his NCAA tournament debut with two pins, two technical falls and a decision in the finals against a wrestler who entered the match 25-0 and hadn’t allowed a point in the national tournament.
“He’s just workmanlike,” said UI associate head coach Terry Brands. “He’s been raised right. He understands the fundamentals of the sport of wrestling and how to get better and move forward at a proper rate.”