Barlow McGhee battles Cornell's Dalton Macri in a dual meet last season (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Luns.com)
MANHEIM, Pa. -- Two wrestlers looking to break through for their first All-American honors will tangle at the 51st annual NWCA All-Star Classic on November 5 at Cleveland State University's Wolstein Center.
Missouri junior Barlow McGhee and Campbell senior Nathan Kraisser have been announced as the competitors in the 125-pound bout.
The event, presented by The Brewer-Garrett Company and hosted by the Wrestlers in Business Network, has served as the major kick-off event for the wrestling season since becoming and early-season event. In 2012, the event moved to the first weekend of the major college wrestling calendar and has been a fixture ever since.
"Both of these wrestlers have been so close to making the podium during their careers," said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer. "This match has the potential to set the tone for each of their seasons."
McGhee, a junior from Rock Island, Illinois, fell just short of All-American honors last season, falling in the round of 12. He went 24-9 and won the Mid-American Conference championship after redshirting during the 2014-15 season. McGhee earned victories over Wyoming's Drew Templeman, Pittsburgh's L.J. Bentley and SIU Edwardsville's Freddie Rodriguez at the 2016 NCAA Division I Championships. McGhee is 45-20 in two years of varsity competition at Missouri.
Kraisser is a three-time NCAA qualifier from Ellicott City, Maryland. He spent two years at the University of North Carolina before transferring to Campbell. A Southern Conference champion last season up at 133 pound, Kraisser finished the season 34-9. He knocked off No. 16 Anthony Giraldo of Rutgers in the first round of the 2016 NCAA championships. As a freshman, Kraisser reached the NCAA quarterfinals and fell just one match short of All-American honors at 125 pounds. Kraisser's career college record stands at 92-26.
The two have never met in collegiate competition.
Kraisser is Campbell's first-ever competitor in the All-Star Classic. It also marks the second instance in the event where a school is making its first appearance. Rutgers' Anthony Ashnault will be the first Scarlet Knight wrestler to compete in the event. Kraisser is also the first Southern Conference wrestler to compete in the event since VMI's Charlie Branch lost to Cleveland State's Dan Carcelli 9-7 at 142 pounds in 1995.
"We've seen two programs represented for the first time," said Moyer. "It's a testament to what coaches Scott Goodale and Cary Kolat are doing with their programs."
McGhee will join teammates Daniel Lewis and Lavion Mayes in the event. The trio will make Missouri's 12th, 13th and 14th appearances all-time with the last victory coming in November of 2014 when Alan Waters defeated Virginia Tech's Joey Dance at 125 pounds. Tiger wrestlers are 7-4 all-time at the All-Star Classic.
The event features 15 returning NCAA Division I All-Americans.
2016 NWCA All-Star Classic Presented by The Brewer-Garrett Company
Hosted by the Wrestlers in Business Network
November 5, 2016 - Wolstein Center, Cleveland State University
Time: Showcase Matches 6 p.m.; Main Event 7 p.m.
Tickets: $15 GA, $100 Preferred Seating/Social. Group options available.
Tickets available at www.goallstarclassic.com or Wolstein Center Box Office ( 844-407-2279) or Northeast Ohio Discount Drug Marts.
Officially Announced Matchups
125: No. 6 Barlow McGhee, Jr. (Missouri) vs. No. 14 Nathan Kraisser, Sr. (Campbell)
133: No. 2 Zane Richards, Sr. (Illinois) vs. No. 4 Eric Montoya, Sr. (Nebraska)
141: No. 2 Bryce Meredith, Jr. (Wyoming) vs. No. 4 Anthony Ashnault, Jr. (Rutgers)
149: No. 3 Lavion Mayes, Sr. (Missouri) vs. No. 4 Anthony Collica, Sr. (Oklahoma State)
157: No. 4 Brian Murphy, Sr. (Michigan) vs. No. 5 Max Rohskopf, Sr. (NC State)
165: No. 2 Isaac Jordan, Sr. (Wisconsin) vs. No. 3 Daniel Lewis, So. (Missouri)
184: No. 1 Gabe Dean, Sr. (Cornell) vs. No. 2 Myles Martin, So. (Ohio State)
197: No. 2 Brett Pfarr, Sr. (Minnesota) vs. No. 4 Brett Harner, Sr. (Princeton)
285: No. 2 Ty Walz, Sr. (Virginia Tech) vs. No. 3 Connor Medbery, Sr. (Wisconsin)
About the National Wrestling Coaches Association
The National Wrestling Coaches Association, established in 1928, is a non-profit organization for the advancement of all levels of the sport of wrestling with a primary emphasis on developing coaches who work in academic environments. The membership embraces all people interested in amateur wrestling. The three core competencies of the NWCA are: coaching development, student-athlete welfare, and the promotion of wrestling.
About Wrestlers in Business Network (WIBN)
Wrestlers in Business Network is a registered 501 C-3 that strives to unite the thousands of wrestlers that have graduated from the sport and are now in their respective careers. Our mission is to build a community that serves as a platform to connect our members and facilitate business and job opportunities across the nation by leveraging a talent rich pipeline of wrestling alumni, with the ultimate byproduct of increasing reinvestment back to the sport. www.wrestlersinbusiness.org