March 18, 2022
Detroit, Michigan, USA
Q. Congratulations, Nick. Your weight class especially there seemed to have been upsets all around. How have you kind of avoided that throughout the session so far?
NICK LEE: It's a really tough weight class. Every year, there's new guys coming in that can challenge the top guys, so I think just sticking to my stuff, sticking to the process is what's helping me out.
Q. Nick, slow offensive pace tonight. What was the key to your -- to that takedown?
NICK LEE: I think just not letting go of the legs and continue to fight for it is something that we work on, so it worked out.
Q. We don't know how the rest of the night is going to go with your Penn State guys. You guys just don't seem to give up points. That's consistent. Is it technique? What is it? Is it mindset?
NICK LEE: You give up less points than your opponent. You win the match generally, so I think that's kind of where we're coming from.
Q. For you guys, it's more than just words. You guys do it. How is that happening?
NICK LEE: Technique, conditioning. That kind of stuff I think.
Q. Nick, this being your last year, is this a little different? Does it feel a little different knowing this is your last time to go around here?
NICK LEE: A little bit. Not too much different, but there's definitely that spectrum in the back of my mind, I think just trying to have a little more fun, enjoy it, and keeping things in perspective, what's the big picture, right, so I think those are things I'm thinking about.
Q. Nick, you do it again tomorrow night. Does it make it more special because you did not have to be here this year?
NICK LEE: I don't know. I think there's a lot of guys that don't have to be here, but it's not a have to or not have to. It's a get to, right? There's 32 guys in this weight class that get to do this. It's a really incredible opportunity. They focus in on the heartbreak a lot, but I don't know if that's good marketing, but they focus in on it, and that's real, right, because it is an awesome opportunity, and it's a cool thing to do, so I'm just grateful for it.
Q. What's it mean to go back to the national championships for the second year in a row?
NICK LEE: It's really awesome. I feel like I'm just trying to be my best self, and if my best self is in the national championships, then that's where I want to be.
Q. Nick, how much will you spend time watching the rest of the guys in the finals tonight?
NICK LEE: I'll watch them a little bit. I try to not if I'm feeling nervous. I don't think it helps them or me, so sometimes I just try to find out results later, but I'll probably log on and see if I can watch tonight. Got to make weight too, so there could be some work there to do, but --
Q. You're wrestling Clarke. Went in overtime against Matthews. You know anything about him?
NICK LEE: No. He is in the finals of the national tournament, so he is an incredible wrestler, so I'm excited. It should be a fun match.
Q. Tell us a little bit about what it's been like being at Penn State for the last five years with Cael as your head coach, and the great assistant coaches he has and the bond you guys have. You guys are such a close family. Tell us a little bit about that, will you?
NICK LEE: I've actually been there for six years, I spent my senior year of high school there training. I competed very little, but I was out there, and I would describe it as a family. I think a lot of teams would probably say the same, but I think anybody that comes into our room from outside can tell you it's a very different vibe, a different atmosphere than most college rooms.
I think that has a lot to do with our coaching staff. They're just incredible. I'm not going to name names because I'll forget somebody, but we have an incredible staff all the way around. They're the best in the world as far as I'm concerned. And them fostering that, and I think older guys helping the younger guys kind of understand where we're coming from and why we do what we do is really important.
Q. Are you in for an Olympic cycle?
NICK LEE: We'll see. We'll see. I haven't even made that decision yet.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports