Gabe Dean gets his hand raised after winning his second NCAA title (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
MANHEIM, Pa. -- When two returning NCAA champions meet in any type of wrestling event, fans tend to take notice.
So be prepared to take notice.
Two-time NCAA champion Gabe Dean of Cornell and returning NCAA champion Myles Martin of Ohio State have officially confirmed their participation at 51st annual NWCA All-Star Classic on November 5 at Cleveland State University's Wolstein Center.
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.
Dean, a senior and three-time All-American, stands as the incumbent champion at 184 pounds, while Martin, an NCAA champion last season as a true freshman at 174 pounds, will move up to a higher weight class and face the formidable Cornell bruiser.
"There really aren't words to describe how excited we are to have such a match here in Cleveland," said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer. "It's so rare we get to see returning NCAA champions hit at any time during the season and we've got two great ones set to tangle the very first weekend of the season. It's surely going to be memorable."
The Dean-Martin match is the first matchup of returning NCAA champions at the All-Star Classic since another Buckeye, Logan Stieber, defeated Oklahoma's Kendric Maple 6-4 in sudden victory at the November 2014 event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
Dean has been one of the most powerful and dominant wrestlers since he stepped on the scene. A third-place finisher as a freshman, Dean, a Lowell, Mich., native has dominated the competition en route to national titles each of the last two seasons. Dean's 77-3 mark over the past two years includes an impressive 49 bonus victories and contains 18 falls. Dean was a state champion as a junior at Lowell High School. His father Dave was an NCAA runner-up in 1987 for Minnesota.
Martin, a stunning champion last season as the No. 11 seed, avenged three in-season defeats to Penn State's Bo Nickal to win the 174-pound title with a thrilling 11-9 decision. Martin becomes the third wrestler with Ohio ties in the event thus far. Ohio natives Ty Walz (Virginia Tech) and Isaac Jordan (Wisconsin) are already confirmed in the event. Martin is a Penns Grove, N.J., native but attended school at McDonogh in Owings Mills, Maryland, where he was a three-time state champion and four-time National Prep finalist.
Ohio State is 10-9 all-time in the event with Nathan Tomasello earning the school's most recent win last season in Atlanta, Ga., over West Virginia's Zeke Moisey. Cornell is 6-7 all-time with Dean earning the most recent Big Red victory, a 5-2 win over Old Dominion's Jack Dechow in Philadelphia in November of 2014.
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
165: Isaac Jordan, Sr. (Wisconsin) vs. Daniel Lewis, So. (Missouri)
184: Gabe Dean, Sr. (Cornell) vs. Myles Martin, So. (Ohio State)
285: Ty Walz, Sr. (Virginia Tech) vs. 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