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Top college wrestlers matchup at the NWCA All-Star Classic



A standing room only crowd of more than 2800 spectators crammed into Mayser Gymnasium on the campus of Franklin and Marshall College for the 34th Annual All-Star Classic. The crowd was treated to an action packed evening of wrestling that resulted in two number one ranked wrestlers going down in defeat. In what was possibly the most anticipated match of the evening,Iowa State's #1 Joe Heskett and Wisconsin's #2 Don Pritzlaff waged another battle in their long-standing rivalry at 165lbs. Pritzlaff, who was the aggressor throughout the match was able to avenge an earlier season loss to Heskett by escaping in just six seconds into the 30-second tiebreaker. Pritzlaff used a late third period takedown to take a one-point lead but Heskett was able to escape quickly to send the match to sudden victory, where Pritzlaff would win the match. Like Pritzlaff - Heskett, #1 Brad Vering of Nebraska and #4 Mark Munoz of Oklahoma State have been waging a long number of battles throughout their college careers. Munoz on the strength of late third period takedown on a single leg was able to upset the number one ranked Vering 3-2. While two number ones fell, five other number one ranked wrestlers were able to protect their number one ranking. The first number one to take to the mat in the opening match of the evening was Iowa's Mark Schwab. After surrendering two early takedowns to Virginia Tech's Sean Gray to fall behind 4-1, Schwab took control of the match midway through the second period and pulled away 12-5. In another anticipated one versus two match took place at 174lbs, as #1 Josh Kosheck of Edinboro battle # 2 Otto Olson Michigan for supremacy of the 174lb-weight class. Koscheck dominated throughout and on the strength of two takedowns and five minutes riding time won 6-1. At 184lbs the fans didn't even get a chance to sit down when Iowa State's #1 Cael Sanderson recorded his 107th straight win when he locked up a cradle in a scramble position to pin Sean Scannell of Rider in a mere :38. Scannel was a late replacement for Dan Cormier of Oklahoma State. The fourth number one to take the mat was Ohio State's Tommy Rowlands and he faced Edinoboro's Josh Pearce. Rowlands used two first period takedowns and defended a late Pearce shot to win comfortably 5-3. The final match of the evening also was the final number one to step onto the raised platform. Eric Juergens of Iowa using relenteless pressure wore down # 4 Nebraska's Todd Beckerman. Using three third period takedowns Juergens won handily 10-2. The evening's most entertaining match took place at 149lbs when #4 Dave Esposito battled Lock Haven's JaMarr Billman. The match was action packed and brought the fans to their feet numerous times as the bout was filled with constant attacking and scrambling. Esposito used a second period body lock for a takedown to help seal a 6-4 win. The second match at 149lbs also had the fans on their feet as local boy Marc Hoffer of American used two second period takedowns to take a 6-4 win over Hofstra's Eric Schmiessing. Jody Strittmatter of Iowa also made a successful return to his home state of Pennsylvania as he used a late four point move to open up a close match with A.J. Grant of Michigan to win 10-3. Keeping with the Pennsylvania trend #5 Yoshi Nakamura wowed the crowed with his impressive inside trips as he used the strength of several takedowns to win 9-3 over Cole Sanderson. In the local feature match of the All-Star Classic, Millersville Mike Bookwalter defeated F&M's Isiah Hankel 5-2. Franklin and Marshall's head coach Pete Schuyler summed up the evening best "It was a great night for wrestling and F&M College. The fans were exposed to a great wrestling and were excited to be here." Schuyler added "I would like to thank the Franklin and Marshall leaders for their support in this wonderful event and helping rebuild the Franklin and Marshall program."
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