by Tommy Wells
Hayden Lieb of Bethel is a five-time All-American wrestler, he has won more than 80 career matches over the last three seasons and, if all goes as planned, he will have an opportunity to etch his name into rare territory by becoming only one of a handful of Alaska wrestlers to win four Alaska state wrestling titles.
He now knows where his opportunities will take him – Wyoming.
The son of BRHS head wrestling coach Darren Lieb and his wife Regina signed a college letter of intent over the weekend to wrestle next season at the NCAA Division I level at the University of Wyoming. Lieb is the latest of Bethel grapplers to sign college deals.
At Wyoming, Lieb will join a Cowboy wrestling program that competes in one of the nation’s top Wrestling Conferences, the Big 12. Wyoming, along with several former members of the Western Wrestling Conference joined the Big 12 in 2015 as affiliate members. Wyoming, under the direction of head coach Mark Branch, entered the 2019 season with six wrestlers that competed in the national tournament the previous year.
Lieb burst onto the high school scene with a bang for Bethel in 2015. As a freshman, he wrestled his way to state’s 132-pound title. He was also tabbed the state’s Most Outstanding Wrestler in the 132-pound ranks, as well as named a National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) All-American.
Moving to the 145-pound classification as a sophomore, Lieb was just as dominant on the mat. He won his second straight state title and, again, took home NHSCA All-American honors.
Last season, Lieb climbed into the 160-pound classification and continued to turn heads, winning the state title, as well as claiming All-American honors at the Reno Tournament of Champions in Nevada and from the National High School Coaches Association.
As a senior, Lieb has again been one of the top grapplers in the state. Through this weekend, he was unbeaten in 21 outings on the mat. He entered the weekend ranked No. 15 nationally in the 160-pound weight classification by Wrestling USA Magazine.
For Lieb, the decision to attend Wyoming ends a long recruiting process that saw him receive interest from numerous colleges, including the U.S. Air Force Academy as well as California Baptist University.
His other accomplishments include:
2015 Schoolboy All-American @ 105 lbs. Freestyle Div.
2019 Junior N.H.S.C.A. All-American @ 160 lbs.
2019 N.H.S.C.A. Academic All-American
Lieb is also a member of the National Honors Society at Bethel Regional High School. Congratulations to Hayden and family!