Oct. 1, 2012
2012 NWCA All-Star Classic
EVANSTON, Ill. – Northwestern will have two representatives at the 2012 NWCA All-Star Classic at American University in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, Nov. 3. Returning All-Americans Mike McMullan (heavyweight) and Jason Welch (157) were selected to compete at the prestigious event that annually features some of the top-ranked wrestlers in the country at every weight class competing in an exhibition match.
The heavyweight match pits the last two third-place finishers at NCAA’s against each other when McMullan takes on Missouri’s Dom Bradley. McMullan finished third at NCAA's as a redshirt freshman in 2012 to receive All-America honors and cap off a 29-11 season in his first year as an NU starter. Bradley took an Olympic redshirt in 2011-12 and finished third at the 2011 NCAA Championships after winning a Big 12 title.
“We are excited to have Mike wrestling in the All-Star Classic,” said Northwestern head coach Drew Pariano. “It is an important step for the season as this event serves as a kick off for college wrestling. It is a spotlight event and in many instances it can be a preview of the match-ups that will happen in the NCAA finals.”
Welch faces a Big Ten foe in the 157 lbs. bout, meeting Penn State’s Dylan Alton. A two-time All-American at 157 lbs., Welch enters his senior year at Northwestern with an 82-20 overall record and is making his second appearance at the NWCA All-Star Classic. Welch was victorious at last year’s event, defeating American’s Granbayar Sanjaa, 8-5. Alton posted a 30-10 record as a redshirt freshman in 2011-12 and earned his first All-America honor, placing third at the 2012 NCAA Championships.
These two are familiar with one another, as they faced each other twice during the 2011-12 campaign with each winning a match.
"It's extremely exciting for Jason and his family to be attending their second NWCA All-Star Classic," Pariano said. "With the excitement for this year's event, you have to give credit to the NWCA and Teague Moore for their marketing efforts. It is going to be a great event and back-to-back invites puts Jason in an elite crowd."
McMullan becomes the 10th NU wrestler to compete at the NWCA All-Star Classic while Welch enters exclusive company with former NU two-time NCAA Champion Jake Herbert as the only two Wildcats to wrestle at back-to-back events. Herbert represented NU at 174 lbs. in 2006 and 184 lbs. in 2007. This also is the second time two NU wrestlers have been selected for the classic as Herbert and Ryan Lang (141) both competed in 2007.
The 2012 NWCA All-Star Classic begins at 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Nov. 3 at Bender Arena on American University’s campus in Washington, D.C. More information on the event can be found here.
Northwestern’s 2012-13 season is just around the corner as the Wildcats begin competition on the road, facing Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif., Friday, Nov. 9 at 8:30 p.m. CT. The Wildcats host an exciting home schedule with six regular season duals and the historic 50th Ken Kraft Midlands Championships Dec. 29-30 at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
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