Star-Bulletin Sports

Sunday, July 29, 2001


St. Louis School's Travis Lee, right, followed up
his Greco-Roman national title with the freestyle
national championship.

Lee doubles
up on mat

The St. Louis wrestler adds
national freestyle title
to his collection

From staff and wire reports

FARGO, N.D. >> Once was not enough for Travis Lee.

The recent St. Louis School graduate won his second national wrestling title in three days yesterday, upsetting heavily favored Nick Simmons of Williamston, Mich., 3-1, in the 123-pound division of the Freestyle Junior National Championships at the FargoDome.

There had never been a national wrestling champion from Hawaii before this week. On Wednesday, Lee won the 123-pound Greco-Roman title.

"It was a tough match all the way,'' Lee said in a phone call last night. "It has not sunk in yet. I'm looking forward to coming home.''

Lee brought Simmons' dynasty to a crashing end in the final, denying Simmons a record-tying fourth national freestyle title. Simmons was 210-0 with 186 pins in his high school career, and came into last night's match as the three-time U.S. Junior national champion.

With his future college coach from Michigan State in his corner, Simmons walked on the mat predicting a technical fall (a 10-point major decision). Simmons had beaten Lee in this event last year.

The first period ended 1-1, but Lee scored two points on an exposure early on and kept the pressure on to win 3-1.

Lee was one of three wrestlers to win both a freestyle and Greco-Roman title.

"It was incredible for him to win one (title), but to win two is nuts,'' said Team Hawaii coach John Kerley. "It was a real David-and-Goliath match tonight. It's an incredible accomplishment. He's proven he can do anything he wants to do.''

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