Spencer Lee is a true sophomore back-to-back champion after knocking off #5 Jack Mueller (UVA), 5-0.
First Period: (0-0)
Lee got things rolling early in the first period with a smooth sweep single. They got into a bit of scramble with Mueller throwing in a tight whizzer. Lee hipped over and secured the takedown. From there he rode Mueller for the remainder of the 1st period. With about 10 seconds to go Lee slipped in the chicken wing and started taking Mueller to his back, had he had more time, he’d have a six point lead. Alas he led 2-0 going into the 2nd.
Second Period: (2-0)
Lee was bold and chose the bottom position. Mueller is a hell of a rider and he showed it here. The smaller Lee was hand-fighting underneath and turtled up. Mueller saw it and threw in a cradle. For about 45 seconds or so Lee battled hard not getting turned over. The ref called a fortunate stalemate. Mueller erased Lee’s 2:00 min of riding time and rode him for the entire 2nd, but in the closing seconds he dropped to leg and was hit for stalling, his second of the match, giving Lee an additional and much needed point.
Third Period: (3-0)
It was Mueller’s choice and with him trailing he chose neutral, knowing he needed two TD’s to tie or a big move to take the leg. Both guys traded a flurry of shots, but Lee’s defense was elite as expected. With time winding down on a reshot by Lee, they got into another scramble with him coming out on top to snag the TD and a 5-0 lead. He rode for the final few ticks to seal the deal.
Wins 5-0. Spencer Lee is a back-to-back champ!
Lee is our first 2x NCAA Champ since Matt McDonough did it in 2010 and 2012, and first back-to-back champ since Mark Perry in 2007-2008. Lee looked good. No, damn good. Last year he absolutely blew through the field. This year, he was equally as dominant despite all the adversity he’s faced this year. With that knowledge, this was perhaps a more impressive run to the finals, avenging a loss to #2 to Nick Piccininni (OKST) in the semis before keeping Mueller scoreless.
The Hawks have six All-Americans for the first time since the 2015-16 season. Every single one of them are returning next year. Five of them are underclassmen, with only Lugo entering his senior year.
133: Austin Desanto – 5th
149: Pat Lugo – 8th
157: Kaleb Young – 5th
165: Alex Marinelli – 7th
197: Jacob Warner – 7th
Despite having six AA’s, the 2nd most of the NCAA Tournament, one behind Penn State’s seven, Iowa finished fourth as a team, but still come back to Iowa City with a trophy. Bittersweet, yes, but considering all they faced this year, it’s without a doubt validated. Congratulations to the 2019 Iowa Hawkeyes and our All-Americans that fight for our program. You guys are heroes.
Fun tweets for your viewing pleasure.
Spencer Lee shuts Jack Mueller out 5-0 to win back to back NCAA titles. pic.twitter.com/1qtxtJdFB4— FloWrestling (@FloWrestling) March 23, 2019