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46th Annual Event held Nov. 21 in Tempe, Arizona

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Updated: November 10, 2011

Three NCAA Champions and 19 All-Americans make up the 20 wrestlers selected for the 2011 NWCA All-Star Classic presented by the United States Marines Corps which takes place November 21 at Arizona State University.

Leading the selection of wrestlers is returning NCAA Division I Champions Jordan Oliver of Oklahoma State University and Kellen Russell of Michigan.

Oliver the returning 133 pound champion will meet third ranked B.J. Futtrell of Illinois.

At 141 pounds, returning NCAA Champion Russell, will have a rematch of his NCAA Finals match against Boris Novachkov of Cal Poly. Russell won the NCAA finals match 3-2.

The third NCAA Champion comes from the Division III ranks as two-time National Champion Byron Tate of Wartburg, becomes the first Division III wrestlers since 1989 to be selected for the event. Tate, who was also a Midlands finalist from a year ago, meets fourth ranked Chris Honeycutt of Edinboro at 197 pounds.

Tate is only the third non Division I wrestler to compete in this event since 2000. Those two other wrestlers would include: Emmett Wilson of Montana State-Northern (2004) and Tervel Dlagnev of Nebraska-Kearney (2008). The last Division III wrestler to compete in this event was Karl Monaco of Montclair State in 1989.

“This signature event is a great way kick off another exciting wrestling season.   The All Star Classic has a deep history with our organization.  We look forward to showcasing some of our sport’s heroes and champions at Arizona State University knowing that these matches could very well be a preview to the NCAA Finals and All-American matches at the NCAA Championships later in March,” said Mike Moyer, Executive Director of the NWCA.

Fifteen universities will be represented in the event, with American, Maryland, Illinois, Oklahoma State, and Wyoming all having two wrestlers competing in the event.

Wrestling fans will see one re-match from last year’s All-Star Classic that was held in Fresno, California. No. 2 Shane Onufer of Wyoming will face off against No. 3 Josh Asper of Maryland.

There will be six athletes competing in this prestigious event for the second time in their career: Josh Asper, Jordan Blanton, Joe LeBlanc, Ryan Flores Jordan Oliver, and Shane Onufer.

Oklahoma State currently holds the record for number of athletes to compete in this event at 85, which includes both Oliver and teammate Jamal Parks this year.

Wrestling fans may take notice that two wrestlers in the event are competing up a weight class from their NCAA All-American placement last year: Ganbayar Sanjaa of American will compete at 157 pounds and Chris Honeycutt of Edinboro will compete at 197 pounds for the remainder of this season.

This year’s event will be hosted by Arizona State University, on November 21st at 7:30 p.m. There will be an exhibition dual that will take place at 4:30 p.m., prior to the event. For more information on the event visit: http://www.nwcaonline.com/NWCAWebSite/Events/nwcaallstarclassic.aspx.

2011 NWCA All-Star Classic Line-Up

125 #3 Jarrod Patterson , Oklahoma vs #4 Nic Bedelyon, Kent State
133 #1 Jordan Oliver, Oklahoma State vs #3 B.J. Futrell, Illinois
141 #1 Kellen Russell, Michigan vs #2 Boris Novachkov, Cal Poly
149 #3 Jamal Parks, Oklahoma State vs Tyler Nauman, Pittsburgh
157 #3 Jason Welch, Northwestern  vs  Ganbayar Sanjaa, American
165 #2 Shane Onufer, Wyoming vs #3 Josh Asper, Maryland
174 #3 Jordan Blanton, Illinois vs #4 Nick Heflin, Ohio State
184 #6 Joe LeBlanc, Wyoming vs #8 Ben Bennett, Central Michigan
197 #1 (DIII) Byron Tate, Wartburg vs #4 Christ Honeycutt, Edinboro
285 #2 Ryan Flores, American vs #4 Spencer Myers, Maryland

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