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NWCA announces new initiative and field to 2002 Cliff Keen/NWCA National Duals



The National Wrestling Coaches Association is very excited to announce the design of a new format for the 2002 Cliff Keen/NWCA National Duals which will be held on January 19-20, 2002 on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. The new concept will feature one of the greatest displays of college wrestling, as Division I, II and III will all conduct their own individual dual meet championships concurrently at Ohio State. The new format will expand the Cliff Keen/NWCA National Duals to 48 schools, and eliminate Division II and III as well as NAIA representatives from the Division I field. Division I, II, and III will each hold a 16-team championship while the NAIA has opted to compete in the 2002 Virginia Duals for next year only. John Graham, founder of the National Duals, orchestrated the idea of having all three divisions compete at one venue. NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer commenting on the new format of the National Duals, said, "On behalf of the NWCA Board of Directors, we are extremely excited to announce the "new" National Dual Meet Championships format featuring the top 16 teams in each of the NCAA Divisions (48 teams total). We are especially grateful to the original National Duals founder, John Graham, for the great idea, Cliff Keen Inc., for the generous event sponsorship, and all of the coaches who have embraced this innovative concept through committing their teams to compete in 2002. A special thank you to Ohio State University for sharing our vision." Moyer also added, "through leveraging the assets of all three divisions, and minimizing the administrative costs by hosting the duals in one venue, this initiative is positioned to generate significant spectator attendance and revenue to our signature collegiate event." The championship will consist of 90 dual meets on 12 mats over two days at St. John's Arena and French Field House at Ohio State University. Both the consolation finals and championship of all three divisions will be run simultaneously to conclude the weekend, something no wrestling fan will want to miss. The field for the Division I and II Championships has been set while Division III is close to completing the process of selecting their field. Five of the top six teams from last year's NCAA Championships will compete at Ohio State in the Division I field, including Defending NCAA and Duals Champion, Minnesota, along with Iowa, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Iowa State. Illinois, which finished fifth at the NCAA's, has elected not to participate. The remainder of the field includes: Michigan, Central Michigan, Michigan State, Northern Iowa, Ohio State, Penn, Lehigh, Loch Haven, Edinboro, Arizona State and Fresno State. The 16 schools for the Division II field includes two-time defending champions North Dakota State. The rest of the field includes Central Oklahoma, South Dakota State, Ashland, Central Washington, Chadron State, Central Missouri, Augustana College, Nebraska-Omaha, Gannon, West Liberty, Pittsburgh-Johnstown, St. Cloud State, Carson-Newman, American International and Indianapolis.
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