There will be a time and a place when Iowa wrestler Spencer Lee will compete for a spot on the United States Senior Freestyle World Team, but that time will not be this year.
The Hawkeyes' 125-pound NCAA champion announced Saturday that he will not compete in the Senior Freestyle World Team Trials Challenge next weekend in Rochester, Minnesota.
"I have the best coaches in the world, and collectively we decided that this was the best decision for me," Lee said in a statement announcing his decision.
"They had a plan last year when there were decisions being made regarding my redshirt, and they have a plan for me now. I believe in the plan and look forward to competing this summer in European tournaments while preparing myself for the upcoming college season."
Lee, who underwent surgery in February 2017 to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament, came out of a potential redshirt situation in January and went on to finish 22-2 and win the NCAA title.
The Big Ten freshman of the year is a three-time age-level world champion, and while he will not compete a spot on the United States Senior World Team, Lee does expect to return to international competition in July when USA Wrestling will field teams for tournaments in Germany, Spain and Turkey.
Iowa coach Tom Brands called the decision to forego the World team trials "the right move for Spencer Lee," citing additional international opportunities.
"He is not slowing down. He is moving forward down a different path," Brands said. "Since arriving on campus, we have made decisions that are in the best interest of him and his future, and that continues today. I can't wait to see him return to competition in July."