CLEVELAND — University of Iowa freshman Spencer Lee defeated Rutgers’ Nick Suriano, 5-1, on Saturday night to win the 125-pound title at the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships.
Lee, the No. 3 seed at 125, 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. Kemerer and Sorensen and 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 is the 55th Hawkeye 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 falls, 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 understand the fundamentals of the sport of wrestling and how to get better and move forward at a proper rate.”
GORRIARAN TROPHY WINNER
Junior Sam Stoll was the winner of the Gorriaran Trophy, presented annually to the wrestler who records the most pins in the least amount of time at the NCAA Championships. Stoll recorded a tournament-best three falls in a combined time of eight minutes, 50 seconds.
Stoll is the sixth Hawkeye in program history to earn the award. The others include Sherwyn Thorson (1962), Bruce Kinseth (1979), Lou Banach (1983), Doug Streicher (1990), and Mark Perry (2006).
The Hawkeyes placed third at the NCAA Championships with 97 points. Iowa crowned five All-Americans, including Lee, senior Brandon Sorensen, sophomore Michael Kemerer, redshirt freshman Alex Marinelli, and junior Sam Stoll.
125 – #3 Spencer Lee (Iowa) dec. #4 Nick Suriano, 5-1
133 – #1 Seth Gross (SDSU) dec. #2 Stevan Micic (Michigan), 13-8
141 – #3 Yianni Diakomihalis (Cornell) dec. #1 Bryce Meredith (Wyoming), 7-4
149 – #1 Zain Retherford (Penn State) dec. #15 Ronald Perry (Lock Haven), 6-2
157 – #3 Jason Nolf (Penn State) dec. #1 Hayden Hidlay (NC State), 6-2
165 – #3 Vincenzo Joseph (Penn State) dec. #1 Isaiah Martinez (Illinois), 6-1
174 – #1 Zahid Valencia (Arizona State) dec. #2 Mark Hall (Penn State), 8-2
184 – #1 Bo Nickal (Penn State) pinned Martin (Ohio State), 2:29
197 – #4 Michael Macchavello (NC State) dec. Jared Haught (Virginia Tech), 3-1
285 – #1 Kyle Snyder (Ohio State) dec. #2 Adam Coon (Michigan), 3-2
- Penn State 141.5
- Ohio State 133.5
- IOWA 97.0
- Michigan 80.0
- NC State 80.0
- Missouri 61.5
- Cornell 48.0
- Virginia Tech 47.5
- Nebraska 47.0
- Arizona State 43.0