Mother of top-ranked college wrestler destroys eye glasses after son loses in semifinal

Spencer Lee has had an impressive wrestling career at Iowa. 

Despite winning three national championships during his collegiate career, Lee’s run came to a disappointing end on Friday. One of Lee’s biggest supporters, his mother Cathy, was visibly upset after Purdue’s Matt Ramos pulled off the stunning upset in the national semifinals.

A viral clip shows an emotional Cathy snatching glasses from her face and using her hands to smash them the into a ball. A couple of seconds later, she was seen tossing the glasses off to the side.

“Spencer Lee’s mom Cathy, an alternate for the U.S. Olympic judo team, and her glasses did not survive that match,” an ESPN broadcaster said. 

Before Cathy took out her frustrations on the glasses, she was seen holding on the person sitting next to her. 


Cathy and Spencer’s father met during a workout in France, and both were judo athletes, according to the Hawkeye Wrestling Club.

Lee is also credited with a pair of Big Ten conference championships. After undergoing surgery during the 2021-22 season, Lee return to action as the top-ranked seed in the 125-pound category of the NCAA Championships.

Spencer Lee of the Iowa Hawkeyes is congratulated by assistant head coach Terry Brands after winning his first-place match during session six of the NCAA.

He won his first three matches against wrestlers from the U.S. Air Force Academy, the University of Michigan and Lock Haven University. Those victories allowed Lee to advance to the semifinals, where he faced Ramos.

Spencer Lee of the Iowa Hawkeyes and Nick Suriano of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights stand on the awards podium during session six of the NCAA.

Lee managed to clinch his third national championship while wrestling on a torn ACL. During an interview with ESPN after the match, Lee mentioned that he wanted to keep the injury private.

“I didn’t want to tell anybody, because excuses are for wusses,” Lee said, according to Hawk Central.

Ramos spoke about the preparation he had put in, leading up to Friday’s win over Lee.

“We had a gameplan,” Ramos said via the Des Moines Register. “We train for this every day. Spencer is the guy to beat at 125. I’ve been working for that. He’s been in my head every single day. I’ve just been striving for it. I’m an All-American now. I’m in the national finals. You have to let it fly.”

Ramos is set to wrestle Princeton’s Patrick Glory in the national championship on Saturday in the 125-pound category.

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