Kevin Steinhaus and Robert Hamlin – conference champs who wrestled each other at the 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships – will face each other again in the 184-pound match at the 2012 NWCA All-Star Classic at American University’s Bender Arena on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.
Lehigh’s Hamlin – twice an EIWA (Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association) titlewinner – defeated 2012 Big Ten champ Steinhaus of the University of Minnesota in a 3-2 decision at last March’s national championships.
Nicknamed the Vermonster, Hamlin enters his senior season as a two-time NCAA All-American, having placed fourth at the 2012 NCAAs, and as a runner-up in 2011 (losing to Penn State’s Quentin Wright in the title bout, 5-2), becoming the first Vermont native to qualify for the NCAA finals.
Hamlin is coming off a successful 2011-12 season, with a 31-3 overall record, including a 16-1 mark in dual-meet competition. For his excellent performance, Hamlin was presented with Lehigh’s Coaches Award for his significant contributions to the program in leadership, attitude and improvement. It was the second straight year for Hamlin to earn this honor.
Now a redshirt junior, Steinhaus also compiled an impressive past season, with an overall record of 34-6, including 14-3 in duals, and a perfect 8-0 in Big Ten competition. In addition to winning the conference crown, Steinhaus garnered All-American honors by coming in fifth at the 2012 NCAAs. For all these accomplishments, Steinhaus was named Most Dedicated Wrestler by his Golden Gopher teammates in 2012.
The two 184-pounders invited to this year’s All-Star Classic bring similar career records to next Saturday’s showcase of top collegiate talent. Steinhaus is 67-18 as a Minnesota matman, while Hamlin is 83-18.
Steinhaus is not the only Minnesota wrestler scheduled to compete at the 2012 NWCA All-Star Classic; teammate Chris Dardanes will be representing the Golden Gophers at 133 pounds. Hamlin is the only Lehigh matman slated to appear at the event that has been a much-anticipated staple of each college wrestling season since 1967.
For the first time since 2001, all individual seats for the annual All-Star event have been sold out in advance. According to event sponsor National Wrestling Coaches Association, only corporate sponsorship tickets remain.
Anticipating the All-Stars: In the weeks leading up to the 2012 NWCA All-Star Classic, College Wrestling Examiner will provide individual previews of the anticipated match-up in each weight class. We’ll provide you with each wrestler’s won-loss records, major titles and other honors, along with on-the-mat history (if any) between the two contestants in each weight class.
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