Run to refrigerator cost me chance to watch Spencer Lee dominate
Lee won his semifinal match at 125 pounds in 23 seconds, but I missed it
By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa – When will I learn?
When will I realize that every second in a Spencer Lee wrestling match is precious, and that his match could end at any second regardless of the circumstance, or the opponent.
Actually, Lee needed 23 seconds to win his semifinal match at 125 pounds at the Big Ten Championships on Saturday in University Park, Pa.
I made the mistake of racing to the refrigerator just prior to the start of Lee’s match, thinking I had time since it was a semifinal match.
But I was wrong.
By the time I returned, Lee’s hand was being raised in victory.
“He kind of pinned himself,” Lee of his opponent, Rayvon Foley from Michigan State. “You take what you can get, and that was there, I guess.”
Lee is so dominant that his opponents are now starting to pin themselves.
I say that only half joking because Lee is clearly at another level than all of his opponents.
He will now for the second year in a row face Devin Schroder from Purdue in the title match on Sunday.
And while you never say never, Schroder will have to wrestle at an incredibly high level to withstand Lee’s constant pressure, strength and leverage.
Lee crushed Schroder by a 16-2 major decision in last year’s Big Ten title match.
The odds of Lee not being locked in and ready to compete on Sunday are none. There are no odds because he will be ready. Lee always is ready to compete at a high level, and with tremendous focus in the sport that he loves so dearly.
Lee, obviously, is immensely talented, but his work ethic, focus and respect for all of his opponents also fuels his dominance.
Top-ranked Iowa was leading the team race comfortably heading into Saturday night’s semifinals.
Lee is trying to win his third national title at 125 pounds, and it would take a Miracle on Ice kind of upset for it not to happen.
The Pennsylvania native didn’t have a chance to compete for a national title last season because the NCAA Championships were canceled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
But first things first.
The only thing on Lee’s mind right now is Sunday’s Big Ten title match against Schroder.
I look forward to watching Lee perform, and trust me, there won’t be any runs to the refrigerator.
Heck, I might even try to avoid blinking.