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Minnesota wrestling star Gable Steveson named Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year

by Logan Sass, University of Minnesota

ROSEMONT, Ill. - University of Minnesota wrestling heavyweight Gable Steveson has been named the 2021-22 Big Ten Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year, as the conference announced on Wednesday morning.

Steveson becomes just the fifth Golden Gopher to be named as the Big Ten's top male athlete in the 41-year history of the award, joining John Roethlisberger (gymnastics, 1993), Jordan Leopold (hockey, 2002), Damion Hahn (wrestling, 2004), and Cole Konrad (wrestling, 2007). He is also the 13th wrestler to ever win the award, as Minnesota joins Iowa for the most Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year award recipients among conference wrestling programs with three (3).

Steveson showcased yet another dominant performance throughout the 2021-22 campaign as he captured his third-straight undefeated season with an 18-0 record and won his second NCAA title. Steveson also became a three-time Big Ten champion this past season and was named the Dan Hodge Trophy winner for the second time in his career, becoming the first heavyweight in the history of collegiate wrestling to earn the prestigious honor multiple times.

"It is a great honor for Gable to be chosen as Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year among many other remarkable athletes," said Minnesota wrestling head coach Brandon Eggum. "He is such a great representative for the University of Minnesota, our program, and the sport of wrestling. We could not be more proud of his accomplishments."

The Apple Valley, Minn., native closed out his career with one of the more decorated careers in the history of the sport, and is perhaps the greatest wrestler to even don the Maroon & Gold. Steveson closed out his career with an 85-2 record (.977), including a 52-match win streak to close out his career, and holds the highest winning percentage in the history of the program. He was the sixth multiple-time NCAA champion and the eighth three-time Big Ten champion in the history of the program. He is the only Gopher to win multiple Dan Hodge Trophies, and also won the 125kg Olympic Gold in Tokyo last summer with a dramatic win over Georgia's Geno Petriashvili.

Steveson graduated this past May with a Bachelor's degree in Communications and Business.