McKee Wins Six Straight to Finish Third; Lee Places Sixth at NCAA Championships

ST. LOUIS, MO – Sophomore Patrick McKee capped off a remarkable run at the NCAA Championships with a third-place finish on Saturday. He finished 7-1 in the tournament with six straight wins. Fellow sophomore Brayton Lee matched his seed with a sixth-place showing at 157 pounds.

Seeded 15th at 125 pounds, McKee became an All-American after four wins on Friday. On Saturday, his roll continued with an 8-3 decision against No. 7 Taylor LaMont of Utah Valley to advance to the third-place match. Facing No. 4 Drew Hildebrandt of Central Michigan and tied at two, McKee’s reversal with eight seconds to go in the second period proved to be the difference. He held off Hildebrandt in the third and added a point for riding time in a 5-3 decision.

With tonight’s final round remaining, McKee is in contention for the Gorriaran Award, which is presented to the wrestler with the most pins in the fewest amount of time. He had three pins on Friday, which currently leads all competitors. John Panning (1972) and Garrett Lowney (2001) are past Gopher recipients of the award.

McKee finished 2021 with a 15-7 record and a team-leading seven falls, including five during the Big Ten and NCAA Championships.

Lee faced a tall task in the medal round. He met top-seed and previously unbeaten Ryan Deakin of Northwestern, a surprise loser in last night’s semifinal. The reigning two-time Big Ten Champion picked up his second major decision against Lee. In the fifth-place bout, Lee met second-seed Trent Hidlay of NC State, an upset victim in the other semifinal. He was defeated by major decision by the first four-time All-American in Wolfpack history.

Lee became a two-time All-American on Friday and finished his sophomore season with a 14-6 record. He placed third at the 2021 Big Ten Championships after a fourth-place showing in 2020.

Top-seed Gable Steveson will face No. 2 Mason Parris of Michigan in the heavyweight final tonight. Minnesota currently sits in eighth place with 60.0 points, while Iowa has clinched its first team title since 2010.

The championship session will begin at 6 p.m. and air live on ESPN.

Team Standings

  1. Iowa (125.0)
  2. Penn State (97.5)
  3. Oklahoma State (95.5)
  4. Arizona State (74.0)
  5. Michigan (69.0)
  6. NC State (68.0)
  7. Missouri (64.0)
  8. Minnesota (60.0)
  9. Ohio State (46.5)
  10. Northwestern (45.0)

Golden Gopher Results (Numbers listed are seeds)

125 pounds – No. 15 Patrick McKee (7-1 | 3rd Place)
Round of 32: McKee dec. No. 18 Noah Surtin (Missouri), 15-8
Round of 16: No. 2 Sam Latona (Virginia Tech) dec. McKee, 3-1
Consolation2: McKee pinned No. 16 Codi Russell (Appalachian State), 2:00
Consolation3: McKee pinned No. 23 Robert Howard (Penn State), 2:04
Consolation4: McKee dec. No. 5 Brody Teske (Northern Iowa), 9-2
Consolation5: McKee pinned No. 19 Eric Barnett (Wisconsin), 6:06
Consolation6: McKee dec. No. 7 Taylor LaMont (Utah Valley), 8-3
Third Place: McKee dec. No. 4 Drew Hildebrandt (Central Michigan), 5-3

157 pounds – No. 6 Brayton Lee (4-3 | Sixth Place)
Round of 32: Lee dec. #27 Connor Brady (Virginia Tech), 2-0
Round of 16: Lee dec. No. 11 Jacori Teemer (Arizona State), 4-3
Quarterfinals: No. 3 David Carr (Iowa State) dec. Lee, 4-2 SV1
Consolation4: Lee dec. No. 7 Jeremy Jacques (Missouri), 4-1
Consolation5: Lee dec. No. 5 Kaleb Young (Iowa), 3-2
Consolation6: No. 1 Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) maj. dec. Lee, 8-0
Fifth Place: No. 2 Hayden Hidlay (NC State) maj. dec. Lee, 11-2

Heavyweight – No. 1 Gable Steveson
Round of 32: Steveson pins No. 32 Taye Ghadiaki (Campbell), 1:27
Round of 16: Steveson tech fall No. 17 Wyatt Hendrickson (Air Force), 17-2 6:41
Quarterfinals: Steveson dec. No. 9 Greg Kerkvliet (Penn State), 9-4
Semifinals: Steveson maj. dec. No. 5 Tony Cassioppi (Iowa), 16-6
Championship: Steveson vs. No. 2 Mason Parris (Michigan)

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