St. Louis Park, Minn. - Recently crowned Hodge Trophy winner, Jayson Ness has claimed yet another honor as the best wrestler in the country, as he was named Wrestler of the Year by InterMat, announced today (Apr. 2).
The honors continue to roll in for the 133-pound National Champion from Bloomington, Minn., as he has won nearly every individual award possible at the conclusion of his senior season. On Mar. 26, he was named the winner of the Hodge Trophy, considered the Heisman Trophy of college wrestling, and was the first Golden Gopher to do so. At the conclusion the NCAA Championships, he was named Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament, just the second Gopher ever, and the first in the modern era.
At the Big Ten Championships he was named to his second All-Conference team, and was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Year.
"Jayson Ness had a magical senior season," said InterMat senior writer Andrew Hipps. "His heart, work ethic, and faith were the driving forces behind his success and the end result was a national championship with a storybook finish to cap off an incredible collegiate wrestling career."
Ness finished his final season perfect at 31-0, and won his first national title with a four-point move in the final ten seconds of the NCAA Championship match to rally from down 1-4 in the third period to win 6-4.
In wreslter of the year voting, he earned eight of 10 first place votes and 84 total points, winning by 18 points over second place Jake Varner of Iowa State. Jay Borschel of Iowa placed third, ahead of teammate Brent Metcalf on fourth. J.P. O'Connor of Harvard rounded out the top-five.
Ness led the Gophers to a seventh place finish at the NCAA Championships and was one of four Golden Gophers to earn All-America honors. With their four All-Americans, the Gophers had the second highest tally in the country.
InterMat (http://www.intermatwrestle.com) is a national wrestling Web site that covers all aspects of amateur wrestling, including high school, college, freestyle and Greco-Roman competition, as well as mixed martial arts. The content includes updated recruiting information and profiles, news, event coverage, rankings and results, along with unique content features such as exclusive athlete profile stories, Q&As, historical features on legendary wrestlers and coaches, and hard-hitting analysis of major issues affecting amateur wrestling. InterMat has twice been named Web Site of the Year by the National Wrestling Media Association.
InterMat Wrestler of the Year Voting
1. Jayson Ness, Minnesota, 84 (8)
2. Jake Varner, Iowa State, 66 (2)
3. Jay Borschel, Iowa, 27
4. Brent Metcalf, Iowa, 23
5. J.P. O'Connor, Harvard, 22
6. Andrew Howe, Wisconsin, 19
7. Kyle Dake, Cornell, 5
T8. Justin Decker, Upper Iowa, 1
T8. Matt McDonough, Iowa, 1
T8. Shane Valko, Pitt-Johnstown, 1
T8. David Zabriskie, Iowa State, 1
Past InterMat Wrestler of the Year Winners
2009: Jake Herbert (Northwestern)
2008: Brent Metcalf (Iowa)
2007: Ben Askren (Missouri)
2006: Ben Askren (Missouri)