CORALVILLE, Iowa — University of Iowa national champion Spencer Lee was named the Mike Howard Most Valuable Wrestler at the Hawkeyes’ annual awards banquet Friday night at the Radisson Hotel and Convention Center in Coralville, Iowa.
Lee won the 125-pound title at the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships in Cleveland on March 17. He rolled through the championship bracket, scoring 27 team points via two technical falls, two pins, and a 5-1 decision in the NCAA finals against previously undefeated Nick Suriano of Rutgers.
Lee joined the Iowa lineup Jan. 5 and finished his freshman season with a 22-2 overall record. He led the Hawkeyes with eight technical falls, ranked third with nine pins, and was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
Lee was one of five Hawkeyes to earn an All-America award. Senior Brandon Sorensen earned All-America honors for the fourth time. Sophomore Michael Kemerer picked up his second straight All-America honor, and junior Sam Stoll and redshirt freshman Alex Marinelli earned their first career honor.
Sorensen was presented the John and Dorothy Sill Award for most dedicated wrestler. He tied for the team lead with 27 wins and placed fifth at the NCAA Championships in 2018. He became the 20th four-time All-American in program history, and finished his career with 127 wins, tied for 12th most in program history.
Kemerer and Stoll shared the award for most pins in a season. Both wrestlers finished the season with 10 falls. Kemerer pinned two opponents in the national tournament and Stoll pinned three on his way to winning the Gorriaran Trophy. Stoll was also presented the Mike J. McGivern award for most courageous wrestler. After missing parts of the past two seasons with injury, Stoll returned to the mat and placed fifth at the NCAA Championships. He posted an overall record of 25-6 at 285 pounds.
Phillip Laux was the recipient of the J. Donald Pike Award, presented to the Hawkeye senior with the highest grade point average, and sophomore Vince Turk was presented the award for most improved. Turk shared time in the regular season at 141 pounds, but earned the spot in the postseason and finished the Big Ten and NCAA Championships with a 6-4 record.
The Coaches Appreciation award went to the entire 2017-18 team.
The Hawkeyes finished the season with one NCAA champion, five All-Americans, and 10 academic All-Big Ten honorees.
2018 University of Iowa Wrestling Team Awards
Mike Howard Award (Most Valuable): Spencer Lee
J. Donald McPike Award (Highest GPA): Phillip Laux
Mike J. McGivern Award (Most Courageous): Sam Stoll
John and Dorothy Sill Award (Most Dedicated): Brandon Sorensen
All-American Award: Michael Kemerer, Spencer Lee, Alex Marinelli, Brandon Sorensen, Sam Stoll
Most Pins Award: Sam Stoll and Michael Kemerer
Most Improved Award: Vince Turk
Coaches Appreciation Award: 2017-18 Iowa Hawkeyes