Fight | 28/03/2022 11:00:00
MINNEAPOLIS – For the second time in his illustrious career, Steveson sprocket was selected as the winner of the WIN Magazine/Culture House Dan Hodge Trophy, an award given each season to the nation’s most dominant wrestler. Steveson was selected as a co-winner last season alongside Spencer Lee of Iowa, but this season he is the only wrestler in collegiate wrestling.
The senior heavyweight is coming off his third straight season undefeated as he capped it off with a second NCAA title, beating Arizona State’s Cohlton Schultz by a 6-2 decision in the heavyweight final in Detroit. Steveson ended his 2021-22 campaign with an 18-0 record, with 15 of those wins coming as bonus points. He recorded seven major decisions, six technical falls and a pin. He also ends his career on a 52-game winning streak, which is the fourth-longest streak in program history.
With the award, Steveson becomes only the sixth multiple-time Dan Hodge Trophy winner, joining Cael Sanderson, Ben Askren, David Taylor, Zain Retherford and Spencer Lee. He also becomes the only heavyweight to win the award multiple times, overtaking former heavyweights Kerry McCoy, Stephen Neal and Steve Mocco, all of whom were winners once.
The Apple Valley, Minnesota native is also the first wrestler in Golden Gopher history to become a two-time Dan Hodge Trophy winner. Jayson Ness remains the only other Gopher to win the award, doing so in 2010 when he went a perfect 31-0 en route to the 133-pound NCAA title, pinning 19 of his opponents throughout the year.
Created by WIN founder Mike Chapman, the award is named after the late Dan Hodge, the legendary wrestler who was a three-time NCAA champion (1955-57) at the University of Oklahoma. Hodge was 46-0 with 36 pins and never allowed an out in his college career.
The main criteria for the award are a wrestler’s record, number of pins, dominance and quality of competition. Past references, sportsmanship/citizenship, and heart are used as secondary criteria in years where two finalists’ stats are nearly equal.
As this is the latest accolade to add to Steveson’s resume, he will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest to ever don the Maroon & Gold jersey. Steveson ends his time at Minnesota with the program’s best career winning percentage at 85-2 (.977), winning two NCAA championships, three Big Ten championships and now two Dan Hodge Trophies.