USA Wrestling and the NCAA announced another USA Wrestling National Team All-Star Dual Meet will be held as part of the festivities at the 2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Philadelphia, Pa.
This is the second consecutive year that a USA Wrestling exhibition will be provided free of charge to wrestling fans attending the championships.
The event has been moved to the first day of the championships — on Thursday, March 17 — between the first and second competition sessions.
For the first time, the National Team All-Star Dual Meet will be hosted in the NCAA competition venue, right on the mats on the floor of the Wells Fargo Center. Fans can stay in their seats after the first session and enjoy the international action.
There has been a format change in the USA Wrestling National Team All-Star Dual Meet. This year, there will be a number of challenge matches featuring top U.S. wrestlers competing against foreign opponents, adding an international flavor. There will also be additional all-USA challenge bouts.
Lineups for the National Team All-Star Dual Meet are being finalized and will be announced when available.
“This allows us to showcase international wrestling and our national team athletes in a community which appreciates wrestling but doesn’t get the opportunity to see the Olympic rules often,” said Mitch Hull, USA Wrestling National Teams Director and one of the organizers of the event.
“This will be held about three weeks prior to the U.S. Open. The benefit for the athletes is the opportunity to compete in front of a large crowd, which always raises the intensity of the action. The added pressure to perform in front of the fans is great for their preparation.”
At the 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Omaha, Neb., USA Wrestling hosted a Big Ten vs. Big 12 Challenge, featuring Freestyle Team USA athletes who had competed in those conferences. The athletes put on an entertaining show for thousands of fans with the Big Ten earning bragging rights in the friendly competition.
USA Wrestling will also participate at the NCAA Fan Festival with National Team practice sessions, which are open to the public.
“Most important is the partnership we have been able to develop with the NCAA at our sport’s showcase event, working together to promote wrestling,” Hull said. “The NCAA has chosen to support our Olympic effort, and we are very grateful.”