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Saturday, March 23
Updated: March 24, 4:29 PM ET
 
Sanderson wins record four NCAA wrestling titles

ESPN.com news services

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Cael Sanderson went out perfect.

The Iowa State senior completed his record-setting college career Saturday, winning his 159th match without a loss and claiming his fourth straight NCAA title.

Cael Sanderson
Iowa State's Cael Sanderson is the second wrestler to win four NCAA titles.

The 197-pound Sanderson caught Jon Trenge by the ankle, turned it into a double-leg takedown and put the Lehigh sophomore straight to his back for a near fall, going on to score a 12-4 major decision.

More than 12,000 fans at the Pepsi Arena gave Sanderson a standing ovation that lasted nearly 5 minutes.

"That's what I was fighting basically, the fear that I would not perform up to my capability," Sanderson said, admitting it had been an effort to prepare for all those matches over four years. He was named the tournament's outstanding wrestler.

Oklahoma State's Pat Smith, who had five losses in his career, is the only other four-time NCAA champion.

Two other Iowa State wrestlers were champions, lifting the Cyclones to second place in team standings with 104 points.

Minnesota won with 126.5 points after two of its wrestlers won titles. Oklahoma, Iowa and Oklahoma State followed.

The crowd roared to its feet one other time, right before the Sanderson-Trenge match, when Trenge's teammate, Lehigh's Rob Rohn, came back from a 14-2 deficit in the third period to pin Oklahoma's Josh Lambrecht at 184 pounds.

Rohn escaped with a minute to go in the match, caught Lambrecht in a headlock, flipped them both and held Lambrecht on his back, finally pressing both shoulders down with 15 seconds left.

At 141 pounds, Iowa State's Aaron Holker won a 10-5 decision over Eric Larkin of Arizona State. Cyclone senior Joe Heskett scored a late takedown to beat Matt Lackey of Illinois at 165 pounds. It was Heskett's third trip to the finals and first win there.

At 157 pounds, Nebraska senior Bryan Snyder, 33-0 this season, lost to Luke Becker of Minnesota 5-4 when Becker escaped in an overtime tie breaker.

Minnesota's Jared Lawrence beat Jared Frayer of Oklahoma 3-1 at 149 pounds. Oklahoma State's Johnny Thompson edged Minnesota's top-seeded Ryan Lewis 5-4 at 133 pounds.

Princeton's Greg Parker, an Albany-area native and the local favorite at 174 pounds, hurt his ribs when he was taken down in the first period and lost 12-5 to Greg Jones of West Virginia.

Fresno State senior Stephen Abas, a returning champion, outpointed Luke Eustice of Iowa 8-4 at 125 pounds.

Ohio State sophomore heavyweight Tommy Rowlands edged freshman Steve Mocco of Iowa in a 1-1 match, riding Mocco for the final 30 seconds in an overtime tie breaker.





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Cael Sanderson talks to ESPN's Steve Cyphers after winning his 159th straight match.
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Cael Sanderson comments after clinching his fourth NCAA title.
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