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Gable Steveson named Hodge Trophy finalist

Minnesota’s sophomore heavyweight Gable Steveson has been named a finalist for The WIN Magazine/Culture House Dan Hodge Trophy, the organization announced on Friday.

Steveson, the 2020 Big Ten Heavyweight Champion, finished the season undefeated with a 15-0 record featuring victories over wrestlers ranked No. 2, 3, 5, 7, 18, 19, 23 and 25 in his weight class. Eleven of those 15 victories came by bonus points, including four first period pins that each came quicker than the one prior.

Now up to 17 straight victories dating back to last year, Steveson owns a 50-2 record through two seasons with the highest winning percentage of any Gopher wrestler with at least 50 victories (.962).

The trophy is awarded to the most dominant college wrestler of each season and is often considered the Heisman Trophy. Seven components make up the criteria for the award: record, pins, dominance, past credentials, quality of competition, sportsmanship and heart.

Jayson Ness, 133-pound champion in 2010, is the only prior Gopher to ever win the award. Ness and two-time NCAA Champion Cole Konrad are the only two Minnesota wrestlers to have ever been named finalists for the award before Steveson’s recognition.
If awarded the trophy, Steveson would become the first heavyweight to earn the honor since Oklahoma State’s Steve Mocco in 2005.

Online voting, which comprises one portion of the vote, began Monday afternoon as the official ballots are sent out to the voters. The winner will be announced on March 30.