Two wrestlers invited to last year’s 2011 All-Star Classic – Jordan Blanton and Josh Asper – are scheduled to face each other in the 174-pound bout at the 2012 edition on Saturday, Nov. 3 at Bender Arena at American University in Washington, D.C.
At last year’s All-Star event, Blanton, a redshirt senior at University of Illinois, was originally slated to wrestle Ohio State’s Nick Heflin at 174… but the Buckeye was unable to compete because of an injury. The University of Maryland’s Asper, also a redshirt senior, defeated Shane Onufer of the University of Wyoming in the 165-pound match at the 2011 All-Stars.
Asper has moved up to 174 after three successful seasons at 165, where he was a two-time NCAA All-American. During the 2011-12 season, Asper placed second at the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) championships and sixth at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. The Terrapin started the season on a tear, winning 24 straight matches; he completed the season with a 28-4 overall record, 15-0 in dual-meet competition. In addition, Asper won the John C. McHugh Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Year Award, and the Curt Callahan Award for Mental Toughness.
Blanton, a veteran at 174, finished last season with an overall record of 30-9, 12-4 in dual competition, and 3-2 in Big Ten matches. Among Blanton’s accomplishments in 2011-12: placing fifth at the Big Ten conference championships, and fourth at the 2012 NCAAs, earning All-American honors for the second time in his collegiate career.
Blanton is one of three Illinois wrestlers slated to compete at the 2012 NWCA All-Star Classic, joined by teammates Jesse Delgado and B.J. Futrell at 125 and 141 pounds, respectively. Asper is the only Maryland wrestler who has been announced for the Classic.
The 2012 NWCA All-Star Classic has sold out in advance of the competition, according to event organizers at the 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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