Spencer Lee is the nation's No. 1 senior recruit (Photo/Robbert Wijtman)
July 1 is Friday, and with that is the official start of the open contact period for Class of 2017 prospects. On that note, InterMat is unveiling its initial ranking of the top 100 wrestlers (recruits, prospects, etc.) for the rising senior class. It is a most excellent group with a pair of world gold medalists anchoring the class.
University of Iowa verbal commitment Spencer Lee (Franklin Regional, Pa.) has been -- with the exception of six months during 2015 -- the top wrestler in this class since November of their eighth grade year. That was when he finished runner-up at 106 pounds in the high school division of the Super 32 Challenge, losing a narrow decision in the final to Nick Suriano, who just finished high school as the No. 2 overall wrestler in the Class of 2016.
Lee is a two-time world champion in freestyle, winning the UWW Cadet title at 50 kilograms in 2014 before taking home UWW Junior gold last year at 50 kilos. He will be seeking a repeat UWW Junior world title in late August, also at 50 kilos. In terms of scholastic style wrestling, he is a two-time Super 32 Champion and a two-time Walsh Jesuit Ironman, missing out on the chance to win a third title in each during the fall of 2015 due to injury. Furthermore, he is undefeated for his high school career, one in which he is a three-time state champion in Pennsylvania's big-school division.
Right behind in the rankings is Cornell verbal commitment Yianni Diakomihalis (Hilton, N.Y.), who was a UWW Cadet world champion in freestyle at 58 kilograms last year, and seeks to add a title at 63 kilos come September. In addition, Diakomihalis is already a four-time state champion, including a title at 99 pounds during his eighth grade season; New York State has that additional lower weight class and allows junior high wrestlers to compete at the varsity level. He is already a three-time Super 32 Challenge champion, and would become the tournament's first-ever four-time champion should he compete and win the title this fall.
Three other wrestlers in this grade level will be competing at UWW World Championships in freestyle this summer. No. 3 Vitali Arujau (Syosset, N.Y.) is slated to represent the United States at the Cadet level in the 58 kilogram class, No. 4 Daton Fix (Sand Springs, Okla.) is slated to compete on the Junior level at 55 kilos, while No. 8 Jacob Warner (Washington, Ill.) is slated to compete at 85 kilos on the Cadet level.
In terms of state representation, the "usual suspects" lead the way. Spencer Lee anchors 18 top 100 wrestlers from the Keystone State, a total that includes seven in the top 30 and nine in the top 50. Ohio has the second most in the rankings with 11, while it's eight from California and seven from Illinois. States with five ranked top 100 prospects include Iowa, New York, New Jersey; while Michigan, Missouri, and Oklahoma each have four rated in the top 100. In all, 27 states have a wrestler appearing in the top 100 for the Class of 2017, eighteen when one narrows it down to the top 50.
InterMat Platinum is required to view all the rankings.
Link: Top 100 Seniors
Below is a sneak peek of the top 10 senior recruits.
1. Spencer Lee (Franklin Regional, Pa.), University of Iowa commitment
2. Yianni Diakomihalis (Hilton, N.Y.), Cornell
3. Vitali Arujau (Syosset, N.Y.), Cornell
4. Daton Fix (Sand Springs, Okla.)
5. Nick Lee (Evansville Mater Dei, Ind.), Penn State
6. Chase Singletary (Blair Academy, N.J.)
7. Cameron Coy (Penn Trafford, Pa.), Virginia
8. Jacob Warner (Washington, Ill.)
9. Brady Berge (Kasson-Mantorville, Minn.)
10. Kaden Gfeller (Heritage Hall, Okla.), Oklahoma State