Jayson Ness has been named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week, the conference office announced today. The redshirt freshman from Bloomington, Minn., earns his second weekly award of the season after posting a pair of wins last weekend to help the top-ranked Golden Gophers wrap up the 2007 Big Ten Dual Meet Championship with convincing wins over Wisconsin and Iowa.
The fourth-ranked wrestler in the country at 125 pounds, Ness continued a stretch of domination with two impressive wins to extend his winning streak to 16 consecutive matches. He pinned Wisconsin's Drew Hammen in 3:47 on Friday and then shut out No. 5 Charlie Falck, one of Iowa's hottest wrestlers, in an 8-0 major decision on Sunday.
During his current winning streak which dates back to Dec. 30 at the Southern Scuffle, Ness has defeated 10 ranked opponents, including six ranked in the top 10. He has earned bonus points in 11 of those 16 matches, accumulating five pins, two tech falls and four major decisions.
This is the second career weekly honor for Ness, who was also recognized on Dec. 12, 2006, following Minnesota victories over Oklahoma State and Iowa State. Ness is the second Gopher wrestler in as many years to earn multiple Big Ten Wrestler of the Week awards in the same season, following Cole Konrad who garnered the honor three times last year.
Ness earns the fifth weekly award for the Gophers this season and follows Manuel Rivera, who was named Co-Big Ten Wrestler of the Week last week, in bringing home back-to-back weekly honors for Minnesota for the second time this season. Gabriel Dretsch and Roger Kish earned the accolade in consecutive weeks from Nov. 22-29.