|USA Wrestling All-Star Dual Meet set for St. Louis, Mo. on March 15 alongside NCAA Wrestling Championships|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Keith Gavin of the USA battles Jaimie Espinal of Puerto Rico at 84 kg at the 2011 USA Wrestling National Team All-Star Dual Meet in Philadelphia, Pa. Larry Slater photo
USA Wrestling and the NCAA are pleased to announce that there will be another USA Wrestling National Team All-Star Dual Meet held as part of the festivities at the 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Mo.
This is the third straight year that a USA Wrestling exhibition will be provided free of charge to wrestling fans who are attending the championships.
The event will be held the first day of the championships, on Thursday, March 15 between the first and second competition sessions. It will be located at the Peabody Opera House, which is adjacent to Scottrade Center. The approximate start time will be at 3 p.m.
Last year at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Philadelphia, the format was a USA vs. International Team match. Team USA won the dual by a 12-10 margin, capturing four of the six bouts. Brent Metcalf clinched the USA victory with a win over Heinrich Barnes of South Africa in the final match at 145 pounds.
At the 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Omaha, Neb., USA Wrestling hosted a Big Ten vs. Big 12 Challenge, featuring Freestyle Team USA athletes who had competed in those conferences. The athletes put on an entertaining show for thousands of fans, with the Big Ten earning bragging rights in the friendly competition.
The format this year will include between 5-6 men’s freestyle matches and one Greco-Roman match. The U.S. Women’s National team will be training in China at the time and will not be available to participate.
The lineup is currently being finalized. Fans will recognize many of the competitors from their college wrestling careers, because of a connection to a number of Division I wrestling programs. The USA Wrestling All-Star Dual has become a traditional part of the NCAA Championships each year.
This event will serve as a tune-up competition for the athletes prior to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling, which will be hosted at Carver-Hawkeye Arena at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, April 21-22.
“This allows us to showcase international wrestling and our national team athletes in a community which appreciates wrestling but doesn’t get the opportunity to see the Olympic rules often,” said Mitch Hull, USA Wrestling National Teams Director and one of the organizers of the event.
USA Wrestling will also participate at the NCAA Fan Festival with National Team practice sessions, which are open to the public.
“Most important is the partnership we have been able to develop with the NCAA at our sport’s showcase event, working together to promote wrestling,” said Hull. “The NCAA has chosen to support our Olympic effort, and we are very grateful.”
For more information on the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, visit