Spencer Lee after winning in the NCAA quarterfinals (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
Freshman wrestling phenom Spencer Lee has been named University of Iowa's male recipient of the 2018 Big Ten Outstanding Sportsmanship Award, the Hawkeyes announced Thursday.
In addition to Lee, Hannah Stewart, a junior who plays women's basketball for Iowa, was also named recipient of the 2018 Big Ten Outstanding Sportsmanship Award for the Iowa City-based school.
By any measure, Spencer Lee made an incredible impression in his first season wrestling for the Hawkeyes. The Murrysville, Pennsylvania native joined the Iowa lineup in January, and made his presence immediately known with an impressive 22-2 overall record. Lee not only won the 125-pound title at the 2018 NCAA Division I championships as a true freshman, but also earned a number of honors, including Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Amateur Wrestling News All-Rookie honors, and InterMat Freshman of the Year for 2018.
Lee and Stewart were among the athletes selected by each varsity sports team at each of the fourteen Big Ten schools to receive a Sportsmanship Award. From each university's list, two Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners were then selected; in the case of University of Iowa, those two honorees were Spencer Lee and Hannah Stewart.
According to the Big Ten, all of the Sportsmanship Award honorees have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, these student-athletes must be in good academic standing and must have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.
Spencer Lee is only the second Iowa wrestler to have been named Big Ten Outstanding Sportsmanship Award in the 15-year history of the honor ... following in the footsteps of Joe Johnston, who received the award for the Hawkeyes in 2005.
Lee isn't the only wrestler to have earned the Big Ten Outstanding Sportsmanship Award for his school this year. Nate Tomasello, four-time NCAA All-American and 2016 NCAA champ at 125 pounds, was named the male recipient of the same honor for Ohio State.