The pins keep coming for Iowa’s ‘ferocious competitor’

Published: Jan. 22, 2023 at 11:18 AM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - It only took Iowa’s Spencer Lee 38 seconds to lock up his fifth straight pin over a top-eight opponent.

“I’m just trying to wrestle every match as hard as I can. I just happen to be getting pins. I think in the past it’s been tech falls or majors or what not. It’s kind of been points,” he said.

The victory kept the three-time NCAA champion unbeaten on the season and extended his win streak to 47 straight.

“It’s one thing to another. That’s how my brain works. As soon as you get a takedown, you’re catching a wrist, you’re chopping him to his stomach, you’re catching a cradle or whatever it may be. It’s one thing after another. You’re constantly trying to score points, trying to get into a position that favors you. That’s what good wrestling is in my opinion,” Lee said.

Friday night’s pin marks his 10th collegiate fall in under a minute and third fastest of his career. To Lee, it seemed like business as usual.

“I don’t keep track. It doesn’t matter because when it’s over, it’s over. On to the next,” he said.

However, it’s become a trend for the 125 pound senior who seems to be displaying some of his best wrestling.

“He’s solid. They’re quick falls. That’s what we like. Get on the mat, get off the mat,” Iowa wrestling head coach Tom Brands said. “I’ve said it for a long time, he’s a ferocious competitor and we love it.”

This comes after Lee missed most of last season to have surgery repairing his two torn ACL’s.

“It is kind of wild. It’s been a little over a year since I had surgery, so I didn’t really think about it. I kind of kept track of the months. Once you get to 8, 9, 10, that’s when you start feeling pretty good. Then 12 is when you’re supposed to be 100 percent,” he explained.

The already fan favorite has become a must-see in his final season as he continues manhandle the other guy on the mat. Even Lee, who is in search of his fourth national title, still gets nervous. Especially when he hears his walk out song coming out of the tunnel.

“People always say you, don’t you get nervous? Are you kidding me? Everyone gets nervous. You’re crazy,” Lee said.