Lee named InterMat Wrestler of the Year

Iowa's Spencer Lee rides PSU's Brandon Meredith in a dual meet on Jan. 31 (Photo/Mark Lundy,

Spencer Lee -- University of Iowa junior who was crowned 2020 Big Ten champion at 125 pounds (and named 2020 Big Ten Wrestler of the Year at the conference championships) -- has been named the 2020 InterMat Wrestler of the Year, the amateur wrestling website announced Monday.

Presented each year since 2006 to the best collegiate wrestler in all divisions, the award is based exclusively on the balloting of writers at InterMat. Each writer is asked to select five wrestlers and rank them from first to fifth. Point values are assigned to each placement, ranging from one point to a wrestler listed fifth on a voter's ballot, up to nine points for a first-place vote.

Spencer Lee received all ten first-place votes from InterMat writers, to garner a total of 90 points to run away with 2020 InterMat Wrestler of the Year honors.

Lee just completed his third season wrestling for the Iowa Hawkeyes, where he tallied a perfect 18-0 record. As impressive as that statistic is, it doesn't reveal all its dimensions behind it. Lee outscored his 18 opponents by a mind-blowing 234-18, putting an NCAA best 5.0 average team points in each match. He earned bonus points in all but two of his matches, racking up four pins (all in the first period) … nine technical falls (four of those in the first period)… and a team-high 58 dual points for the season. For all these accomplishments, Spencer Lee found himself ranked as the No. 1 wrestler in the 125-pound weight class the entire season.

In his first two seasons at Iowa, Spencer Lee managed to make his presence felt in collegiate wrestling. He won back-to-back 125-pound titles at the 2018 and 2019 NCAAs ... and, at the Big Ten Championships, placed second in 2019, and third in 2018.

Prior to arriving in Iowa City, Lee, a product of Franklin Regional High School in Pennsylvania, was a three-time state champ, and four-time state finalist. He was the nation's No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2017 by InterMat.

Spencer Lee is the second University of Iowa wrestler to be named InterMat Wrestler of the Year in the 15-year history of the award. Brent Metcalf earned the honor at the end of the 2008 season. What's more, Lee is the second individual from the Hawkeyes to earn an InterMat award this year. Last week, head coach Tom Brands was named 2020 InterMat Coach of the Year.

2020 InterMat Wrestler of the Year Voting Results
1st-5th Place Votes: 9, 7, 5, 3, 1
Total Votes/(First-Place Votes)

1. Spencer Lee, Iowa 90 (10)
2. Kollin Moore, Ohio State 40
3. Mark Hall, Penn State 26
4. Gable Steveson, Minnesota 25
5. Zahid Valencia, Arizona State 22
6. Ryan Deakin, Northwestern 20
7. Luke Pletcher, Ohio State 8
T8. Patrick Glory, Princeton 5
T8. Nick Lee, Penn State 5
10. Alex Marinelli, Iowa 4
11. Noah Adams, West Virginia 3
12. Sebastian Rivera, Northwestern 2

InterMat Wrestler of the Year Past Winners

2019: Bo Nickal, Penn State
2018: Zain Retherford, Penn State
2017: Zain Retherford, Penn State
2016: Zain Retherford, Penn State
2015: Logan Stieber, Ohio State
2014: David Taylor, Penn State
2013: Kyle Dake, Cornell
2012: Ed Ruth, Penn State
2011: Jordan Burroughs, Nebraska
2010: Jayson Ness, Minnesota
2009: Jake Herbert, Northwestern
2008: Brent Metcalf, Iowa
2007: Ben Askren, Missouri
2006: Ben Askren, Missouri


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dbestsport (1) about 8 months ago
How is Michael Kemerer not in the top 12???
Without his win over Mark Hall - one of the most impressive dual wins I can remember - Iowa is not undefeated this year.
He moved up two weights for Iowa was nothing short of a phenom this year.
greff (1) about 8 months ago
because Hall just beat him handily and its a weak weight class; also, Lee shouldn't win a Hodge without an NCAA tournament to prove himself at-with some real competition like Mueller and Glory; even Pic might have pinned him again? never know. If Rivera stays down at his natural weight Lee has no chance at this award and we all know this
greff (1) about 8 months ago
He beats up on average, mostly, underclassman all year while the real competition is at 133 where Rivera went...had he went up and dominated that's another story but to award it in a non-NCAA tournament year he should have beaten more than one elite guy, especially one that pinned him the time before...
ban basketball (1) about 8 months ago
It looks to me like Lee and Rivera were 2-2 against one another at 125, so I'm not sure how you're so conclusively declaring that Rivera would always beat Lee.
greff (1) about 8 months ago
last year 2-0 and decisively at the Midlands where he made him look average... He has his number