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PITTSBURGH — University of Iowa sophomore Spencer Lee defeated Virginia’s Jack Mueller, 5-0, on Saturday night to win the 125-pound title at the 2019 NCAA Wrestling Championships.
Lee, the No. 3 seed at 125, scored takedowns in the first and third periods, and forced a pair of stalling calls on Mueller to win the title for the second straight year.
“Terry Brands always tells me big time wrestlers show up at big time moments. We preach that at the University of Iowa, and everyone on my team believes that they’re a big-time wrestler because that’s the mindset you have to have to be in this sport,” Lee said.
“We preach that — big time wrestlers show up at big time matches. I believe that too. I believe we all show up the best we can, especially when you face a great opponent like Jack Mueller. He’s a great exponent.”
Lee outscored his opponents 55-7 in five matches. He won twice by decision and added one major decision, one technical fall, and one pin. He defeated an undefeated opponent in the finals for the second straight year. Mueller was 21-0 entering the finals. A year ago, Lee defeated Nick Suriano in the finals, 5-1. Suriano had been 25-0.
Lee’s individual national title is the 85th in program history, and 12th under head coach Tom Brands.
“He needs to give himself a lot of credit,” said Iowa head coach Tom Brands. “Spencer Lee is a tough costumer. In short that is what I would say. He is a gracious guy, but in the heat of the battle he wants things to go his way. When they go his way, you’re a national champion. He’s that good.”
The Hawkeyes placed fourth at the NCAA Championships with 76 points. Iowa crowned six All-Americans, including Lee, sophomore Austin DeSanto, junior Pat Lugo, sophomore Kaleb Young, sophomore Alex Marinelli, and redshirt freshman Jacob Warner.
- Lee is the 17th two-time NCAA Champion in school history.
- Iowa’s 55 NCAA champions have combined for 84 NCAA titles.
- Lee is the first Hawkeye to win consecutive NCAA titles since Mark Perry in 2007-08.
- Iowa earned six All-America honors, its most since 2016. Only Penn State had more (7).
- Iowa has had at least five All-Americans in six straight seasons, and 11 times in head coach Brands’ 13 years.
- DeSanto, Lugo, Young, and Warner are all first-time All-Americans.
- Iowa has had 161 All-Americans combine for 335 All-America honors.
- Warner is the ninth freshman All-American since 2007, and fourth in the last three years (Kemerer, Lee, Marinelli, Warner).
- Penn State 137.5
- Ohio State 96.5
- Oklahoma St. 84
- IOWA 76
- Michigan 62.5
- Missouri 62
- Cornell 59.5
- Minnesota 53.5
- Rutgers 51.5
- Nebraska 51