NCAA Wrestling Championships 2021: Results, Updated Standings After Saturday

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2021

Iowa's Spencer Lee, top, takes on Arizona State's Brandon Courtney during their 125-pound match in the finals of the NCAA wrestling championships Saturday, March 20, 2021, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

Penn State's reign atop the Division I men's wrestling world is over.

Iowa collected its first national championship since 2010 on Saturday at Enterprise Center in St. Louis, ending the Nittany Lions' run of four straight titles.

NCAA Wrestling @ncaawrestling

🏆2021 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS @Hawks_Wrestling🏆 #NCAAWrestling https://t.co/UiJ9B0Xkhz

The reigning champs had to settle for runner-up this time around as the Hawkeyes finally got the better of their Big Ten rivals once again.


Final Team Standings

  • 1. Iowa (129.0 points)
  • 2. Penn State (113.5 points)
  • 3. Oklahoma State (99.5 points)
  • 4. Arizona State (74.0 points)
  • 5. Michigan (69.0 points)
  • 6. NC State (68.0 points)
  • T7. Minnesota (64.0 points)
  • T7. Missouri (64.0 points)
  • 9. Ohio State (46.5 points)
  • 10. Northwestern (45.0 points)

Full standings available at TrackWrestling.com


Iowa also celebrated one individual champion, Spencer Lee, who successfully defended his title in the 125-pound class.


Individual National Champions

  • 125 pounds: Spencer Lee (Iowa) def. Brandon Courtney (Arizona State)
  • 133 pounds: Ramon Bravo-Young (Penn State) def. Daton Fix (Oklahoma State)
  • 141 pounds: Nick Lee (Penn State) def. Jaydin Eierman (Iowa)
  • 149 pounds: Austin O'Connor (North Carolina) def. Sammy Sasso (Ohio State)
  • 157 pounds: David Carr (Iowa State) def. Jesse Dellavecchia (Rider)
  • 165 pounds: Shane Griffith (Stanford) def. Jake Wentzel (Pittsburgh)
  • 174 pounds: Carter Starocci (Penn State) def. Michael Kemerer (Iowa)
  • 184 pounds: Aaron Brooks (Penn State) def. Trent Hidlay (NC State)
  • 197 pounds: AJ Ferrari (Oklahoma State) def. Nino Bonaccorsi (Pittsburgh)
  • 285 pounds: Gable Steveson (Minnesota) def. Mason Parris (Michigan)


Penn State had plenty of wrestlers come out on top, but the Nittany Lions couldn't match the collective strength of the Hawkeyes. In addition to Lee's triumph, six other wrestlers earned All-American nods: Michael Kemerer, Jaydin Eierman, Tony Cassioppi, Austin DeSanto, Kaleb Young and Jacob Warner.

Lee fought through significant pain to overcome Brandon Courtney in Saturday's final. He told ESPN after the match he had torn his ACL eight days ago and had to work around the injury.

NCAA Wrestling @ncaawrestling

Spencer Lee wins at 125-pounds! #NCAAWrestling x 🎥 @espn https://t.co/LuF1V2T3Hs

With national championships in 2018, 2019 and 2021 and the 2020 Hodge Trophy under his belt, Lee has a strong case to be considered the greatest wrestler in program history.

Few names in the sport's history are bigger than that of Dan Gable, a two-time national champion who turned Iowa into a powerhouse as a coach. If you're named after the legend, then you better be pretty good.

Luckily for Gable Steveson, he can hang with the best of them. The Minnesota star improved his winning streak to 34 matches by running through the bracket in the 285-pound class. Michigan's Mason Parris was the last man standing between Steveson and his first championship, and the Apple Valley, Minnesota, native wasn't going to be denied.

More impressive than his 8-4 win in the final might be the celebratory backflip he displayed.

Gable Steveson @GSteveson

Your 2021 Heavyweight National Champion! #TheOne https://t.co/w17XASnnNc

NCAA Wrestling @ncaawrestling

His super power? He defies gravity! #NCAAWrestling https://t.co/gn0TaeeFxP

In general, the championships played out largely as expected. While Lee, Steveson and Aaron Brooks were the only No. 1 seeds to go all the way, three divisions were claimed by the second-seeded wrestlers (Roman Bravo-Young, Nick Lee and Austin O'Connor).

Stanford's Shane Griffith authored the biggest underdog story in St. Louis.

Griffith stunned Iowa's Alex Marinelli during Friday's morning session and pulled off another upset against Bucknell's Zach Hartman in the semifinals later in the day. That left Jake Wentzel of Pittsburgh to close out the tournament.

Griffith and Wentzel were even through the first two periods before the Cardinal redshirt sophomore took control and cruised to the title, 7-2.

The result was poignant because wrestling is one of the varsity sports Stanford plans to drop upon the conclusion of the 2020-21 academic year. Griffith referenced his team's impending fate while competing:

Daniel Cormier @dc_mma

Shane Griffith is the 2021 NCAA wrestling champ. He wrestles for @CardWrestling. His singlet is inside out because @Stanford is dropping the wrestling program. They were told raise money, they’ve raised over 10mill. What more do they need? @KeepStanfordWRE retweet please https://t.co/qoCRa7Zvhi

If this is indeed it for Stanford wrestling, the program went out on a high note Saturday.