Two Wyoming Wrestlers Selected For NWCA All-Star Classic
Nov. 11, 2011
LARAMIE, Wyo. - Wyoming wrestlers Joe LeBlanc and Shane Onufer have been selected to take part in the 46th NWCA All-Star Classic, presented by the United States Marines Corps.
The event, which pits some of the nation's best collegiate wrestlers against one another, will be Nov. 21 in Tempe, Ariz.
"It's always an honor and it's great exposure for our program," Wyoming coach Mark Branch said. "I really put (the decision) in their hands. It's not easy. You have to fly out to Arizona, and it's another time of making weight and you're getting really stiff competition. They both wanted to do it. That's awesome. I think they were proud to be invited, and they saw it as an opportunity to test themselves."
Three NCAA Champions and 19 All-Americans make up the 20 wrestlers selected for the event. Fifteen universities will be represented in the event, with Wyoming, American, Maryland, Illinois and Oklahoma State, each with two wrestlers competing in the event.
Onufer, a 165-pound senior, will have a rematch from last year's All-Star Classic when he faces No. 3 Josh Asper of Maryland. Asper beat Onufer 3-2 in last year's event, but Onufer was able to defeat Asper in the NCAA National Championships in 2011 with a 5-4 decision in the fifth/sixth place match.
LeBlanc, who took a 10-5 decision over Purdue's A.J. Kissel in last year's event, will wrestle No. 8 Ben Bennett of Central Michigan in the 184-pound match. The senior is Wyoming's third three-time All-American.
"Those guys will represent us well," Branch said of LeBlanc and Onufer. "They've really been a big part as to why we have high expectations this year. It shows you where our program is at and gives us a lot of hope for the future."
For more information on the event, click here.
2011 NWCA All-Star Classic Line-Up
125 pounds: No. 3 Jarrod Patterson (Oklahoma) vs. No. 4 Nic Bedelyon (Kent State)
133: No. 1 Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State) vs. No. 3 B.J. Futrell (Illinois)
141: No. 1 Kellen Russell (Michigan) vs. No. 2 Boris Novachkov (Cal Poly)
149: No. 3 Jamal Parks (Oklahoma State) vs. Tyler Nauman (Pittsburgh)
157: No. 3 Jason Welch (Northwestern) vs. Ganbayar Sanjaa (American)
165: No. 2 Shane Onufer (Wyoming) vs. No. 3 Josh Asper (Maryland)
174: No. 3 Jordan Blanton (Illinois) vs. No. 4 Nick Heflin (Ohio State)
184: No. 6 Joe LeBlanc (Wyoming) vs. No. 8 Ben Bennett (Central Michigan)
197: No. 1 (DIII) Byron Tate (Wartburg) vs. No. 4 Chris Honeycutt (Edinboro)
285: No. 2 Ryan Flores (American) vs. No. 4 Spencer Myers (Maryland)