Brayton Lee Earns First Big Ten Award

Redshirt freshman Brayton Lee earned his first Big Ten Wrestler of the Week award after claiming the 149-pound Cliff Keen Las Vegas title, the conference announced on Tuesday.

Lee, who shares this week’s award with Purdue’s Dylan Lydy, went 5-0 on the weekend including his final three victories over top-ten opponents. As the five-seed Lee was the lowest seeded wrestler to win the title as well as the youngest wrestler to accomplish the feat this weekend.

After reaching the semifinals, Lee fell behind to then-No.5 Max Thomsen of Northern Iowa. Still, Lee showed off his conditioning with a late takedown to force sudden victory before he finished another leg attack early in the extra period. Lee then took care of business against Ohio State’s Sammy Sasso with a pair of takedowns in the championship bout for a 6-4 decision victory.

The Indiana native climbed seven spots in the FloWrestling rankings up to fifth in the nation after his performance.

The 70kg Junior World representative for USA Wrestling this summer, Lee is now 13-1 on the season with four bonus point victories. Lee’s lone loss came to No.4 Boo Lewallen in the freshman’s first career road dual in a packed Gallagher-Iba Arena.

This is the Gophers first weekly award since heavyweight Gable Steveson won the award last season during the week of Nov. 20, 2019.

Lee and the Gophers return to action on Dec. 20, 2019 against South Dakota State before closing out the calendar year at the South Beach Duals in late December. Conference play begins on January 10, 2020 against Wisconsin.

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