College wrestling: Princeton hosts 52nd NWCA All-Star Classic on Sunday
A pair of 2017 NCAA champions headline an impressive line-up of All-Americans set to compete.
Manheim, Pennsylvania - With over 50 years of wrestling excellence under its belt, there is still two things the NWCA All-Star Classic had never done: come to New Jersey and have a full set of women's All-Star bouts.
Those pieces of trivia will be tossed aside as the start of the college wrestling season will kick off on November 5 at 3 p.m. as the historic Jadwin Gym at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, will stage the 52nd annual NWCA All-Star Classic hosted by Wrestlers in Business Network and sponsored by Princeton Brain and Spine and Northwestern Mutual Life.
"When you look at the historic athletic facilities, not just in New Jersey, but on the East Coast, Jadwin Gym ranks near the top," said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer. "We've had tremendous EIWA Championships, NCAA Championships and New Jersey state wrestling championships held in Jadwin as well as some of the most notable Garden State dual meets. We're excited to finally get off the turnpike and do some wrestling in New Jersey."
Since moving to the beginning of the season, the All-Star Classic has served as the ribbon-cutting for the start of the collegiate wrestling season, showcasing dozens of All-Americans each year in a dual meet format. It's now time for big-time college wrestling events to #ComeBackToJadwin.
"What's unique about the All-Star Classic is where else, in one single dual, can you find upwards of 15-16 college All-Americans annually? You can't," said Moyer. "We have NCAA finals previews, but what we're most excited about is doing something else that's never been done before."
Among the featured wrestlers in this year's event will be a pair of 2017 national champions with Lehigh's Darian Cruz and Penn State's Mark Hall scheduled to compete in two of the most highly-anticipated bouts.
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For the first time in the history of the event, the All-Star Classic will pair men's and women's wrestling duals known as One Sport: HiStory and HerStory.
"With the push from groups like Wrestle Like A Girl, the NWCA, USA Wrestling and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame to get the application process started to get women's wrestling listed as an NCAA emerging sport, we're going to capitalize on that effort and show everyone the value of what wrestling means for everyone, not just our boys and young men," said Moyer.
Women's wrestlers have been featured in showcase events in the past with Olympic champion Helen Maroulis and Olympic bronze medalist Randi Miller previously taking part in the event prior to the 10 main event matches.
"We have so much planned for this stellar day of wrestling, all of which wouldnít be possible without the Wrestlers in Business Network and the Wrestlers in Business Networkís Princeton chapter along with Princeton Brain and Spine and Northwestern Mutual Life," said Moyer. "They're the ones who really made this a reality."
Prior to the event, Princeton associate head coach Joe Dubuque will be joined by Olympic champions Brandon Slay, Helen Maroulis and Kyle Snyder as instructors for the Olympian Youth Clinic from 11-1 p.m. There will also be a unique pre-event social featuring dozens of wrestling celebrities from the past and present.
"This truly has become not just a great wrestling event in terms of the competition, but a history-making one that fans of all ages can not just watch, but be included as well," said Moyer.
125: Darian Cruz, Sr. (Lehigh) vs. Nick Piccininni, So. (Oklahoma State)
133: Seth Gross, Jr. (South Dakota State) vs. Stevan Micic, So. (Michigan)
141: Kevin Jack, Sr. (NC State) vs. Bryce Meredith, Sr. (Wyoming)
149: Max Thomsen, So. (UNI) vs. Matthew Kolodzik, So. (Princeton)
157: Alec Pantaleo, Jr. (Michigan) vs. B.J. Clagon, Sr. (Rider)
165: Chad Walsh, Sr. (Rider) vs. Jonathan Schleifer, Sr. (Princeton)
174: Mark Hall, So. (Penn State) vs. Zahid Valencia, So. (Arizona State)
184: Pete Renda, Sr. (NC State) vs. Drew Foster, Jr. (UNI)
197: Frank Mattiace, Sr. (Penn) vs. Jared Haught, Sr. (Virginia Tech)
285: Tanner Hall, Jr. (Arizona State) vs. Nick Nevills, Jr. (Penn State)
101: Marina Doi, Sr. (King (TN)) vs. Hiba Salem, Jr. (Menlo)
109: Maria Vidales, So. (Emmanuel (GA)) vs. Charlotte Fowler, So. (Campbellsville)
116: Fayth Woodward, Jr. (Emmanuel (GA)) vs. Makayla Bourbon, Sr. (U. of the Cumberlands)
123: Dom Parrish, Jr. (Simon Fraser) vs. Amber Pair, So. (Eastern Oregon)
130: Megan Black, Sr. (McKendree) vs. Shelby Hall, Sr. (Campbellsville)
136: Kayla Miracle, Sr. (Campbellsville) vs. Solin Piearcy, So. (Menlo)
143: Mallory Velte, Sr. (Simon Fraser) vs. Desiree Zavala, So. (Grays Harbor)
155: Niauni Hill, Sr. (Lindenwood-Belleville) vs. Kiera Gabaldon, Jr. (Warner Pacific)
170: Brandy Lowe, Sr. (McKendree) vs. Kacie Moorehouse, So. (Grays Harbor)
191: Paige Baynes, Jr. (Grays Harbor) vs. Alyssa Cantu, Sr. (Missouri Valley)
WHAT: 52nd NWCA All-Star Classic hosted by Wrestlers in Business Network
WHEN: Sunday, November 5, 3 p.m. ET
WHERE: Jadwin Gym, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ