Scoring points key for Iowa wrestling’s first 2019 All-Americans

Spencer Lee and Kaleb Young both advanced to the semifinals after reaching for more points in the quarters.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa’s 157-pound Kaleb Young wrestles Northwestern’s Ryan Deakin during the third session of the 2019 NCAA D1 Wrestling Championships at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA on Friday, March 22, 2019. Young won by sudden victory, 7-5.

Anna Kayser, Assistant Sports Editor

PITTSBURGH – The Hawkeyes named two All-Americans in the third session on Friday after they advanced to the semifinals. Spencer Lee and Kaleb Young won their quarterfinal matches by taking shots and pushing to score points on every attack.

“It’s just scoring points in every position for the whole match, seven minutes and more if needed,” Lee said. “I think that’s a really big mindset I need to do the rest of this tournament. It’s just continuing to score points, sometimes you’ve got to go for some things.”

In 5:59 with an 11-2 lead, Lee turned Minnesota’s Sean Russell on his back for the pin and his third bonus points match of this tournament.

His mindset comes from just that – trying to score as many points as possible and instead of looking at the scoreboard or the clock, he looks towards the next opportunity to gain points.

“I want to tech and pin everybody, that’s kind of how I’ve always been,” Lee said. “It’s not the most realistic thing in the world because your opponent wants to win too, but I feel like if you have that mindset and just continue to score points, then techs and pins will come and points will continue to pile on.”

As for Young, he took his knowledge from his loss against Northwestern’s Ryan Deakin at the 2018 Midlands Championships and used it to his advantage.

Young went up early with a takedown and tied the match up at 5-5 in the third with an escape. In sudden victory, he scored a takedown 13 seconds in to avenge what he called his worst loss of the season.

“He took me down a couple times [at Midlands]. It kind of wears you down getting taken down a couple times in a row, gets to your head,” Young said. “I knew if I flipped that switch, if I got a couple of takedowns, it’d be wearing on him.”

He also learned from what tactics Deakin used to win at Midlands and changed his approach on the defensive side to protect his weaknesses and keep Deakin from getting shots in and taking him down multiple times in a row.

“[At] Midlands he kind of beat me up getting to my right leg, took me down two, maybe three times with the same shot.,” Young said. “I knew as long as I didn’t let him get locked on my right leg, he wouldn’t be able to finish.”

Lee had also faced his opponent before: in their 2019 dual meet, at Big Tens a few weeks ago, and at the 2017 Midlands.

Whether it’s wrestling someone who he’s seen multiple times or someone new, Lee’s focus stays the same.

“You’ve just got to wrestle the whole time and not focus on what he’s good at,” Lee said. “You’ve got to be aware of it because people are good at what they’re good at, that’s why they’re here, but you’ve got to focus on what you’re good at and get to your offense and your points and wrestle hard.”

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