Two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champ Jake Varner and four-time NCAA champion distance runner Lisa Koll have been named Iowa State’s Athletes of the Year for the 2009-2010 academic year. Both are earning the honor for the second time. Varner previously won male athlete-of-the-year honors in 2009. Koll won female athlete-of-the-year recognition in 2008.
Varner capped one of the most successful seasons in Iowa State history with a 31-0 record as a senior. He closed his college career with dominating style, with 10 major decisions, one technical fall and 10 pins. The Cyclone standout was also crowned champ at the Midlands after-Christmas classic, and at the 2010 Big 12 conference championships.
In his very last collegiate match, Varner claimed his second-straight NCAA title with a 5-2 victory over No. 2-seeded Craig Brester of the University of Nebraska in the tournament finals. The Bakersfield, California native had also defeated Brester to win his first national title at the 2009 NCAAs. Varner was the 13th four-time finalist in NCAA history, and only the second Cyclone to accomplish the feat. (The other: Cael Sanderson, 1998-2002).
Varner finished his Cyclone mat career with 121-10 record, for a .923 career-winning percentage that ranks among the top five in program history. Among his other honors at Iowa State: 42 career falls… four-time ISU falls award winner… four-time Harold Nichols/Cyclone Open champ (at 184/197 pounds)… and two-time Big 12 champ (2008, 2010).
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KCCI-TV, Des Moines: Koll, Varner ISU Athletes of the Year
Iowa State wrestling: Official website… Jake Varner’s 2009-2010 team bio
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