Minnesota's Gable Steveson after a semifinal win at the 2021 NCAAs (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
Minnesota heavyweight Gable Steveson dominated his competition in 2021, finishing 17-0 with 14 of the 17 wins resulting in bonus points. Steveson defeated Michigan's Mason Parris 8-4 to win the NCAA title at heavyweight and extend his winning streak to 34 straight wins.
On Monday, Steveson was named 2021 InterMat Wrestler of the Year.
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.
Steveson received seven of the 10 first-place votes from InterMat writers to garner a total of 84 points. It marks the eighth straight year the award has gone to a Big Ten wrestler.
Three-time NCAA champion Spencer Lee of Iowa, the 2020 InterMat Wrestler of the Year, received the other three first-place votes and came in second in the voting with 74 points. Penn State NCAA champions Roman Bravo-Young, Nick Lee and Aaaron Brooks finished third, fourth and fifth respectively in the voting. North Carolina's Austin O'Connor, Iowa State's David Carr, Stanford's Shane Griffith and Oklahoma State's A.J. Ferrari also received votes.
The Gopher heavyweight finished undefeated for the second consecutive season. Of his 17 wins this season, seven came by technical fall, four by fall and three by major decision. After posting a 9-0 record during the regular season, Steveson entered the Big Ten Wrestling Championships as the top seed at heavyweight. He cruised to his second consecutive conference title, earning a 12-4 major decision over Parris in the finals. Steveson was named Outstanding Wrestler of the Big Ten Wrestling Championships.
At the 2021 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Steveson reeled off five straight wins to earn the NCAA title at heavyweight, becoming the first Gopher to win a national title since Tony Nelson won back-to-back crowns in 2012-13. In addition, He also became the fourth Minnesota heavyweight since 2000 to capture a national title, joining Nelson, Cole Konrad (2006-07) and Brock Lesnar (2000).
2021 InterMat Wrestler of the Year Voting Results
1st-5th Place Votes: 9, 7, 5, 3, 1
Total Votes/(First-Place Votes)
1. Gable Steveson, Minnesota 84 (7)
2. Spencer Lee, Iowa 74 (3)
3. Roman Bravo-Young, Penn State 46
4. Nick Lee, Penn State 17
5. Aaron Brooks, Penn State 10
6. Austin O'Connor, North Carolina 8
7. David Carr, Iowa State 5
8. Shane Griffith, Stanford 4
9. A.J. Ferrari, Oklahoma State 2
InterMat Wrestler of the Year Past Winners
2020: Spencer Lee, Iowa
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