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BEST COLLEGE ATHLETE Minneapolis 2002 - Luke Becker

Readers' Choice: Lindsay Whalen

If there's one thing in life that we're certain of, it's that you don't ever want to find yourself on the same wrestling mat as Luke Becker. There is no fat on the kid. None. We can't prove this by any standard recognized by modern science, but we swear it's true. He weighs in at 157 pounds of vein-bulging muscle; and within the seven minutes that make a college wrestling match, he reduces like-sized, musclebound men into gasping, gelatinous masses of flesh and bone. Only two people defeated Becker this year--and he avenged both of those losses at the national championships in dramatic fashion. In the semifinals Becker defeated Penn's Yoshi Nakamura in double overtime. Then in the finals he faced Nebraska's Bryan Snyder, who had beaten him five times in six previous matches; he escaped to take home the title in double overtime. Over the past three years Becker has climbed from sixth to fourth to first in the nation, and he still has another year to help the U chase its third consecutive NCAA title.

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