Gill Coliseum gears up for the annual tussle of college wrestling best teams and student athletes
MANHEIM, Pa. "The 2013 NWCA/Cliff Keen Division I National Dual Meet Championships Presented by Hibiclens and the Marines, also dubbed as "Mat Mayhem," are less than a month away. These five events will serve as marquee events in NCAA Division I wrestling with nine of the top ten teams in the nation preparing to attend.
With the change in this year's event format, the finals will feature eight teams, four via automatic bids and four teams via regional competition wins. Last year the finals only included the winner of each regional.
"I think of it [the National Duals] as 10 guys strapping on their head gear, battling it out to win for their school "for the name on the front of the singlet," said Missouri Head Coach Brain Smith.
The teams selected to receive automatic bids and attend regional competitions were based on results and rankings from the 2011-2012 season. One school will serve as the host for the regional with three other teams joining them in a one day competition on Sunday, February 17th, the regionals are:
- Cornell Region: Cornell, Hofstra, Virginia, Nebraska
- Kent State University Region: Kent State, Oklahoma State, Northern Iowa, Wisconsin
- Oregon State Region: Oregon State, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Michigan
- University of Missouri Region: Missouri, Wyoming, Maryland, Purdue
- Automatic Bid Finalists: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Ohio State.
Ohio State Head Coach Tom Ryan expressed his excitement for and importance of the event.
"Every event on the schedule is important," said Ryan. "The National Duals is one that is written in bold and circled. We want to be the best team in America."
Oregon State Head Coach Jim Zalesky echoed Ryan's excitement for the pending event.
"The National Duals are an exciting time for wrestling," said Zalesky. "Dual meets are different than tournaments., There is a lot more strategy involved and I think coaches like that."
Newman Arena in Bartels Hall at Cornell University will serve as the host site for the Cornell Region, this will be the second year Cornell has hosted this event. Head Coach Rob Koll spoke with great eagerness and enthusiasm for the upcoming regional event and opportunity to act as host.
"Hosting a regional allows us the opportunity to see teams, particularly schools from the Big 10, that we would not otherwise hit," said Koll. "It is not only great for our fans but it is also a fantastic opportunity for our wrestlers to experience championship level competition in February."
The first round of competition for the Cornell Region will begin at 1pm followed by the second round starting at 3pm on February 17. Tickets to the event can be purchased here.
The M.A.C. Center at Kent State University will serve as the host site for the Kent State University Region.
The first round of competition for the Kent State Region will begin at 1pm followed by the second round beginning at 3pm. Tickets to the event can be purchased here.
Gill Coliseum at Oregon State will serve as the host site for the Oregon State Region.
"We got some great teams coming out and it is exciting to just have a regional and to have those teams visiting the west coast," said Head Coach Zalesky. "There are a lot of top ranked wrestlers that fans will get to see in action, in addition to four top teams going in back-to-back duals."
The first round of competition for the Oregon State Region will begin at 1pm followed by the second round beginning at 3pm. Tickets to the event can be purchased here.
The Hearnes Center at the University of Missouri will serve as the host site for the University of Missouri Region.
"Wrestling fans can expect some great team competition," said Head Coach Smith with regards to the University of Missouri Region. "There is a lot of excitement with the four regionals and teams waiting to see who they will wrestle."
The first round of competition for the University of Missouri Region will begin at 10am followed by the second round beginning at 12pm. Tickets to the event can be purchased here.
The University of Minnesota will serve as the host site for the finals event on February 22-23. The first two rounds of competition will be at 6 pm and 8 pm on February 22. The semifinals will occur at 1 pm followed by the finals at 7 pm on February 23.
"The four teams are already set, we know where the finals are going to be, and the crowd is going to be there. It is an exciting time for wrestling," said Missouri Head Coach Smith.
Tickets to the event are on sale now and can be purchased via Minnesota Athletics. For additional pricing, seating and purchasing information, visit the Minnesota Athletics Site.
If fans are unable to attend the events, Fox College Sports will be broadcasting 10 tape delayed duals meets from the event. Those dual meets will also be rebroadcast a minimum of 10 times each allowing for flexibility in viewership.
For more event information, go to the, National Duals page, at nwcaonline.com.