Mark Hall defeated Zahid Valencia in the NCAA semifinals (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
MANHEIM, Pa. -- For many wrestling fans, Mark Hall and Zahid Valencia have some unfinished business. Those fans won't have to wait long to see the two tangle once more.
Two of the best young wrestlers in the world will get another crack at one another at 174 pounds as the second weight classes were released for the 52nd annual NWCA All-Star Classic set for Princeton University's Jadwin Gym on Sunday, November 5. Two women who have spent time in the WCWA finals will do battle at 170 pounds.
The NWCA All-Star Classic is hosted by Wrestlers in Business Network and sponsored by Princeton Brain and Spine and Northwestern Mutual Life.
Returning NCAA champion and two-time UWW Junior world champion Hall of Penn State will square off with returning All-American and UWW Junior world silver medalist Valencia of Arizona State in what will surely be one of the highlight bouts of the evening.
Fans will remember the controversial semifinal bout between the two at the 2017 NCAA Division I Championships where Hall advanced past Valencia and into the finals after receiving a crucial penalty point late in the bout -- one that took away a Valencia takedown and instead, awarded Hall a decisive point.
The loss was Valencia's only one of the season as he rebounded to take third while Hall won his first NCAA Division I championship with a win in the finals. Both competed for Team USA this past summer in Tampere, Finland where Hall won his second straight Junior world championship and Valencia finished with a silver medal. Both were key components in the U.S. winning the team championship in Finland.
Penn State is 17-16-3 all-time in the All-Star Classic and Hall will be the first Nittany Lion to compete in the event since David Taylor and Matt Brown participated in 2014 in Fairfax, Virginia at George Mason University. Arizona State is 13-14-1 all-time. The only All-Star Classic meeting between the teams was a 9-5 decision by Ray Miller of Arizona State over Dave Hart of Penn State at 167 pounds in 1993 at Lehigh.
Two-time All-American and 2017 WCWA champion Jessica Rottier will represent the University of the Cumberlands at 170 pounds. Rottier will face Brandy Lowe of McKendree, another two-time All-American.
Rottier, a native of Little Suamico, Wisconsin, went 31-1 as a sophomore and earned 15 falls en route to her first WCWA championship. Two of Rottier's three falls in the national championship came in under a minute. Lowe bounced back from a quarterfinal loss to finish third at the same weight class.
Lowe started her career at Ottawa University in Kansas, where she finished as the runner-up at 191 pounds at the 2015 WCWA championships. She was 32-8 last season and was a 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier.
Both are accomplished on the age-group levels, with Rottier placing six times in two different age-groups at the USA Wrestling Cadet & Junior Nationals in Fargo, North Dakota, including two second-place finishes.
WHAT: 52nd NWCA All-Star Classic hosted by Wrestlers in Business Network
WHEN: Sunday, November 5, 3 p.m.
WHERE: Jadwin Gym, Princeton University, Princeton, N.J.
TICKETS: $20 (group discounts available)
SOCIAL MEDIA: #ComeBackToJadwin #allstarclassic2017 #wrestleback
LIVE WEBCAST: trackwrestling.com
125: Darian Cruz, Sr. (Lehigh) vs. Nick Piccininni, So. (Oklahoma State)
174: Mark Hall, So. (Penn State) vs. Zahid Valencia, So. (Arizona State)
143: Mallory Velte, Sr. (Simon Fraser) vs. Desiree Zavala, So. (Grays Harbor)
170: Jessica Rottier, Jr. (U. of the Cumberlands) vs. Brandy Lowe, Sr. (McKendree)
Note: Women's college wrestling competes under international freestyle rules.