Seth Gross (Photo/Mark Beshey, The Guillotine)
MANHEIM, Pa. -- Flashy, dynamic, exciting and tenacious are four terms that can describe the athletes announced on Thursday to compete at the 52nd annual NWCA All-Star Classic set for Princeton University's Jadwin Gym on Sunday, November 5.
The NWCA All-Star Classic is hosted by Wrestlers in Business Network and sponsored by Princeton Brain and Spine and Northwestern Mutual Life.
On the men's side, South Dakota State's Seth Gross will face Michigan's Stevan Micic at 133 pounds, while Megan Black of McKendree will take on Shelby Hall of Campbellsville at 130 pounds on the women's side.
Gross, a junior from Apple Valley, Minnesota, became South Dakota State's first NCAA Division I finalist with his runner-up finish a year ago at 133 pounds. All-American Micic, a native of Cedar Lake, Indiana, finished fourth at 133 pounds in 2017.
The two didn't meet last season and haven't met previously as Gross dropped from 141 pounds to 133 last season and Micic moved up from 125 to 133 after he started his career at Northwestern. Micic finished 29-7 a year ago and Gross was an impressive 34-2.
Gross will be South Dakota State's second wrestler to appear in the event all-time. Cody Pack competed at the 2015 All-Star Classic in Atlanta, losing to Lehigh's Mitch Minotti in overtime. Micic will make Michigan's 38th appearance in the All-Star Classic. Overall, Wolverine wrestlers are 15-19-3.
At 130, McKendree's Megan Black, a native of Batavia, Iowa, will become the second McKendree wrestler to compete, joining teammate Brandy Lowe (170 pounds). A three-time WCWA All-American, Black has twice been a runner-up at the national championships. She finished seventh as a freshman competing for King University.
Black was the first girl in Iowa high school state wrestling history to place at the state wrestling tournament when she finished eighth in 2012 at 106 pounds. She recently won the UWW U23 World Team Trials in Rochester, Minnesota.
Hall, a native of Doylestown, Ohio, is also a three-time WCWA All-American, finishing eighth, third and fourth in her three trips to the tournament. A 2016 Olympic Trials participant, Hall is looking to exact a little revenge as Black eliminated Hall from championship contention at the 2017 WCWA nationals with a 31-second fall in the semifinals.
Hall's presence for Campbellsville also represents the seventh different school thus far to be represented on the women's side at the All-Star Classic. Eight different schools are represented thus far on the men's side.
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
125: Darian Cruz, Sr. (Lehigh) vs. Nick Piccininni, So. (Oklahoma State)
133: Seth Gross, Jr. (South Dakota State) vs. Stevan Micic, So. (Michigan)
174: Mark Hall, So. (Penn State) vs. Zahid Valencia, So. (Arizona State)
197: Kollin Moore, So. (Ohio State) vs. Jared Haught, Sr. (Virginia Tech)
116: Fayth Woodward (Emmanuel) vs. Makayla Bourbon, Sr. (U. of the Cumberlands)
130: Megan Black, Sr. (McKendree) vs. Shelby Hall, Sr. (Campbellsville)
143: Mallory Velte, Sr. (Simon Fraser) vs. Desiree Zavala, So. (Grays Harbor)
170: Jessika Rottier, Jr. (U. of the Cumberlands) vs. Brandy Lowe, Sr. (McKendree)
Note: Women's college wrestling competes under international freestyle rules.