The Big Ten conference announced today that Ethan Lizak earned co-Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honors for his bonus-point heavy march to the 125-pound title at last weekend’s Southern Scuffle. Lizak joins teammate Brett Pfarr as a Big Ten weekly honoree this season. Pfarr earned the award on Nov. 29. Lizak will share this week’s honor with Iowa 125-pounded Thomas Gilman.
Lizak, the Scuffle’s seventh seed at 125 pounds, won all five of his matches with bonus points – four major decisions and a tech fall. In his last three contests, Lizak defeated ranked opponents: No. 6 Darian Cruz (Lehigh), No. 12 Nick Piccininni (Oklahoma State) and No. 11 Jack Mueller (Virgina), all by major decision. In total, Lizak rolled through his competition by a cumulative score of 61-9, or an average of 12-2. Lizak was the first Gopher to win a Southern Scuffle title since 2014. He also helped the Gophers to a fourth-place finish with 118 team points, the program’s best showing in the event since 2014.
Lizak’s return to the lineup on Sunday for the opening day of the Scuffle was his first action wrestling attached for Minnesota since the 2015 NCAA Championships at the end of his true freshman season. In the interim, Lizak had built up a collection of wins and titles dominating competition on the open tournament circuit. His return for the Scuffle was a step up in competition, but that did little to change Lizak’s results.
Lizak and the Gophers return to action this Friday, when Minnesota hosts No. 2 Penn State at the Sports Pavilion. Tickets for the dual are still available by visiting MyGopherSports.com.