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Franklin Regional grad Spencer Lee earns NCAA's Hammer Award

Paul Schofield
| Monday, March 19, 2018, 11:00 a.m.
Spencer Lee of Iowa takes down Nick Suriano of Rutgers in their 125-pound championship match during the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on March 17, 2018, at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Lee, a graduate of Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, won the match 5-0.
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
Spencer Lee of Iowa takes down Nick Suriano of Rutgers in their 125-pound championship match during the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on March 17, 2018, at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Lee, a graduate of Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, won the match 5-0.

The Amateur Wrestling News has awarded the 2018 Hammer Award to Iowa freshman and Franklin Regional graduate Spencer Lee.

The Hammer is presented to the wrestler who wins what a selection panel determines to be the deepest, most competitive weight class at the NCAA tournament.

Past winners included: Logan Stieber (Ohio State), Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State) and Bo Nickal (Penn State).

This year's choice was difficult. Several weights contained multiple returning NCAA champions but the 125-pound class got the nod. There were seven returning All Americans competing in the tournament at that weight and a pair of NCAA champs (Darian Cruz of Lehigh and Nathan Tomasello of Ohio State).

The weight class was also the only weight with four wrestlers who had previously competed in an NCAA final.

Lee (22-2) had two 18-0 technical falls and two pins including one of Tomasello. He defeated Nick Suriano, 5-1, in the finals, handing the Rutgers sophomore his first loss of the season. He outscored five opponents, 61-4.

No other champion was more dominant according to the release.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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