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January 22, 2002

Golden Gopher Ryan Lewis named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week

University of Minnesota junior wrestler Ryan Lewis has been named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week, following his outstanding performance last week at the NWCA National Dual Meet Championships in Columbus, Ohio. It is the second conference honor this season for the Golden Gopher grappler from Vernal, Utah.

Lewis returned from a severe groin injury to post a 4-0 record at the National Duals as top-ranked Minnesota stayed perfect in dual meet competition with victories over No. 14 Northern Iowa, No. 8 Pennsylvania, No. 4 Michigan and No. 7 Ohio State. Lewis reclaimed his No. 1 national ranking with a 13-3 win over No. 17 Mark Manchio of Northern Iowa, an 8-4 victory over No. 10 Foley Dowd of Michigan and a 13-2 win against No. 7 Jeff Ratliff of Ohio State. Lewis also recorded a pin against Penn's Jeff Eveleth, his sixth of the season. Lewis is now 17-0 overall and 6-0 in dual meets.

A transfer from Division II power North Dakota State where he was a D-II All-American, Lewis proved to be Minnesota's big-time backup during the 2000-01 season. Wrestling behind senior All-American Brett Lawrence, Lewis had an outstanding year, posting a 19-10 record, including a 4-3 mark in duals.