National preseason high school event set for October 23 in Rochester, MN
Visit Official Site of InterMat JJ Classic
ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. -- Wrestlers from across the nation have had the opportunity to compete in prestigious postseason wrestling tournaments for years. Now wrestlers in grades 7-12, their families and fans can get the upcoming season off to a winning start, with a new elite, preseason open wrestling tournament.
The tournament: InterMat JJ Classic, which is set to take place on Saturday, October 23, 2010 at the UCR Regional Sports Center in Rochester, Minnesota.
The InterMat JJ Classic promises to be loaded with national talent. Hundreds of wrestlers in grades 7-12 are expected to participate. There will be 32-wrestler brackets for each of the 14 standard high school weight classes from 103 through 285 pounds. Because of the event's location, the InterMat JJ Classic is expected to attract top high school wrestling talent from across the Midwest. However, the tournament is open to wrestlers from all across the United States.
The tournament is sponsored by InterMat, the nation's leading amateur wrestling Web site. The UCR Regional Sports Center in Rochester, Minnesota has served as the venue for major amateur wrestling events such as The Clash, Minnesota Christmas Tournament, Northern Quad, Cadet National Duals, and the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) Wrestling Championships. The event is being organized by 360 Sports and Events Agency, a sports management company headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota that specializes in organizing, coordinating, and operating national sport-themed events, including the All American Bowl and the Nike Coach of the Year Clinic.
The InterMat JJ Classic is destined to become one of the premier preseason high school wrestling events in the country, joining two other pre-eminent, national preseason high school wrestling events that take place in October: Super 32 Challenge in Greensboro, North Carolina, and USA Wrestling Preseason Nationals in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Both of these tournaments are scheduled for the weekend after the InterMat JJ Classic, allowing high school wrestlers the possibility of competing in more than one elite open tournament.
"Bringing a high-level preseason high school wrestling event to Minnesota, specifically Rochester, was very important to us, "said Andrew Hipps, owner and senior writer for Minneapolis-based InterMat. "Rochester hosts some of the finest wrestling events in the country. We felt there was a definite need for a national preseason high school wrestling event because of the abundance of high school wrestling talent scattered all throughout the Midwest."
The InterMat JJ Classic is named in honor of Justin Kukowski, an athlete and avid sports fan -- and best friend of Hipps -- who lost his long, hard-fought battle with brain cancer days after his 27th birthday. JJ -- as he was known to friends -- was a wrestling fan; in fact, the last major sports event he attended was the 2006 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Oklahoma City. (Visit JJ's blog.)
Proceeds for the InterMat JJ Classic will go to the cancer support center, the Justin Kukowski Center for Spiritual and Physical Healing, which opened in his memory two years after his passing, and is located in the Minneapolis suburb of Chaska.
"JJ was the kindest, most selfless person I've ever known, "disclosed Hipps, who had known Kukowski since the age of 5. "He made everyone he came in contact with feel important. There are so many things about JJ that made him special and unique, but the thing that stands out the most in my mind is the way he treated other people. He didn't have a negative bone in his body."
The InterMat JJ Classic kicks off with weigh-ins Friday, October 22 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. CT at the Kahler Grand Hotel -- the official tournament hotel -- located at 20 SW Second Avenue in downtown Rochester. After weigh-ins, wrestlers, coaches, and their families are invited to a meet & greet at the Kahler Grand Hotel.
The actual one-day tournament begins at 9 a.m. at the UCR Regional Sports Center in Rochester. Competition, open to wrestlers in grades 7-12, will be held in 14 traditional high school weight classes: 103, 112, 119, 125, 130, 135, 140, 145, 152, 160, 171, 189, 215, and 285 pounds, with no weight allowance.
The InterMat JJ Classic will be set up using 32-wrestler brackets. Twelve wrestlers in each weight will be seeded. Brackets will be set up in a double elimination format, with wrestlebacks to eighth place. The top eight placers in each weight class will receive awards. In addition, each of the 28 finalists will receive custom, limited edition InterMat JJ Classic singlets.
The matches will be wrestled scholastic style. Each match in the championship bracket will be three periods -- two minutes in the first; second and third periods will be one minute each. In the consolation bracket, there will be three one-minute periods.
The registration fee for the 2010 InterMat JJ Classic is $40 for wrestlers and $40 for coaches. Payment is due at the time of registration.
For more information on the InterMat JJ Classic and to register online, visit Official Site of InterMat JJ Classic.
InterMat is a leading national wrestling Web site that covers all aspects of amateur wrestling, including high school, college, freestyle and Greco-Roman competition, as well as mixed martial arts. The content includes updated recruiting information and profiles, news, event coverage, rankings and results, along with unique content features such as exclusive athlete profile stories, Q&As, historical features on legendary wrestlers and coaches, and hard-hitting analysis of major issues affecting amateur wrestling. InterMat works in conjunction with ESPN RISE and the Big Ten Network and has twice been named Web Site of the Year by the National Wrestling Media Association.
360 Sports and Events Agency is a sports management company that specializes in organizing, coordinating, and operating national sport-themed events, including the All American Bowl and the Nike Coach of the Year Clinic.