University of Minnesota wrestler Jayson Ness has been selected as the national Freshman of the Year by Amateur Wrestling News
A native of Bloomington, Minn., Ness finished the year with a 40-5 overall record, leading the Gophers with 15 pins and tying for the team-lead with nine major decisions. His 40 victories and 15 pins are both totals which rank tied for seventh in school history.
The 125-pounder posted a 16-5 record against ranked opponents on the season, including a 12-4 mark against wrestlers ranked in the top 10. He registered a pair of regular season wins over eventual NCAA champion Paul Donahoe of Nebraska.
Ness capped off his decorated redshirt freshman season with a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships in March to earn his first All-America certificate. He scored 16 critical team points, which included three pins, to help Minnesota to the national title, its third in the last seven seasons.
Entering the national tournament, Ness had won 19 consecutive matches, with bonus points in 14 of those victories. He defeated 12 ranked opponents during that stretch, including eight against the top 10.
Ness captured Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors after breezing to an individual title with two pins and a major decision to help Minnesota run away with its second straight conference championship. He was also selected as Minnesota’s representative for the Big Ten Sportsmanship award.
At the team’s annual awards banquet in April, Ness collected multiple awards as he earned Most Outstanding Freshman honors and received the Most Falls Award.
Ness is the second straight Gopher rookie to earn AWN
Freshman of the Year honors, following Dustin Schlatter, who ran away with the award last season. Ness was selected ahead of Iowa State’s Jake Varner, Missouri’s Max Askren, Ohio State’s Mike Pucillo and Harvard’s J.P. O’Connor.