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SIUE Athletics
Cougar Ruler

November 10, 2004

Seven NCAA Champions Highlight Lineup
for Marines All-Star Classic
Presented By Real Pro Wrestling
Event Scheduled for Monday, November 22 at SIU Edwardsville

         (Manheim, PA) The National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) is excited to announce seven NCAA Champions and four NCAA runner-ups will headline an impressive lineup of wrestlers for the 2004 Marines All-Star Classic presented by Real Pro Wrestling. The 39th Annual All-Star Classic will take place on Monday, November 22 at 7p.m at the Vadalabene Center on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
         The Marines All-Star Classic presented by Real Pro Wrestling pits the nation's top collegiate wrestlers against each other in challenge matches that are often seen as a preview of the NCAA championships.
         This year's lineup ranks as one of the best of all time as seven NCAA Champions and eight pre-season number one ranked wrestlers will take to the mat. There are currently six matches scheduled featuring the number one and two ranked wrestlers in the nation according to the NWCA Division I Coaches poll. The lineup is tentative and could be subject to change due to injuries or other reasons beyond our control.
         2004 NCAA Champions Troy Letters of Lehigh, Chris Pendleton of Oklahoma State and Greg Jones of West Virginia along with 2003 NCAA Champions Travis Lee of Cornell, Teyon Ware of Oklahoma, Ryan Bertin of Michigan, and Steve Mocco of Oklahoma State have all accepted invitations to compete. Jones is a 2002 and 2004 NCAA Champion.
         Number one ranked Travis Lee will meet 4th ranked Mark Jayne of Illinois at 133lbs in a rematch of last year's All-Star Classic, which Lee won. Teyon Ware, who is currently ranked third will battle 4th ranked Cory Cooperman of Lehigh at 141lbs. 3rd Ryan Betin will meet 2nd ranked Jake Percival of Ohio University at 157lbs. Top ranked Troy Letters will compete in his first All-Star Classic and will face 2nd ranked David Bolyard of Central Michigan at 165lbs.
         Chris Pendleton will see a familiar foe in Missouri's Ben Askren at 174lbs. Pendleton and Askren met in last year's NCAA Finals and begin this season ranked first and second in the nation. Greg Jones will look for his third consecutive victory in the All-Star Classic when he meets Paul Bradley of University of Iowa at 184lbs in another match-up of one versus two wrestlers. Steve Mocco returns from an Olympic redshirt year after winning his NCAA crown in 2003 and will meet 2nd ranked Kole Conrad of Minnesota at 285lbs.
         Along with the seven NCAA Champions, three additional number one ranked wrestlers will compete. At 125lbs top ranked Sam Hazwinkel will meet 3rd ranked Nick Simmons of Michigan State. Top ranked Zach Esposito of Oklahoma State will meet his 2004 NCAA Semifinal opponent when he meets 2nd ranked Dustin Manotti of Cornell at 149lbs. Two-time NCAA runner-up and number one ranked Jon Trenge of Lehigh will battle 3rd ranked JD Bergman of Ohio State.
         Keeping with the tradition of the Marines All-Star Classic two local feature matches will take place. Joe Rujawitz of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will face Chad Swagman of Truman State at 149 lbs. and George Kirgan of Northern Illinois will wrestle Kiel Geise of Missouri Valley College at 174 lbs.
         The Marines All-Star Classic presented by Real Pro Wrestling is the signature event of the NWCA. This year the NWCA made a decision to move the meet from its original February date to November and have the event serve as a kick of classic. By moving the event to November, the NWCA wanted to ensure the participation of the top collegiate wrestlers.
         This year's event also marks the first time the event has ever been held on a Division II campus. The NWCA awarded the All-Star Classic to SIU Edwarsville due to the relentless efforts that the alumni and friends of the program gave in saving the program from being discontinued in 2002.
         "We are extremely excited about bringing this event to SIU Edwardsville as a thank you to the relentless efforts of the Friends of SIU Edwardsville's efforts in saving their program from being discontinued. On behalf of our Board of Directors we are very thankful to the coaches and athletes who have agreed to compete in this year's events. November 22 is going to be a great evening to showcase our sport, as seven NCAA Champions will be in action. We truly believe that the 2004-05 wrestling season will begin and end in St. Louis," stated Ron Beaschler, President of the National Wrestling Coaches Association.
         "The Friends of SIUE wrestling are very excited about hosting one of the most prestigious events in college wrestling. For the St Louis area wrestling fan it is a once in a life time opportunity to be able to see the best wrestlers in the nation twice in one year as the college wrestling season starts off in St Louis with the All-Star Classic and ends in St Louis in March at the NCAA Championships. The line-up that the NWCA has put together for this meet is incredible and will be like watching the NCAA Finals early," commented Mark Mestermacher, event director and President of Friends of SIU Wrestling.
         Tickets can be purchased for the Marines All-Star Classic presented by Real Pro Wrestling by calling by the SIUE Wrestling at 618-650-2949. For more information, please call 717-653-8009 or visit the NWCA website at

39th Annual Marines All-Star Classic Lineup
Presented by Real Pro Wrestling

November 22, 2004 SIU Edwardsville 39th NWCA All-Star Classic Lineups
125 - #1 Sam Hazewinkel, Oklahoma vs #3 Nick Simmons, Michigan State

133 - #1 Travis Lee, Cornell vs. #4 Mark Jayne, Illinois

141 - #3 Teyon Ware, Oklahoma vs. #4 Cory Cooperman, Lehigh

149 - #1 Zack Esposito, Oklahoma State vs. #2 Dustin Manotti, Cornell

157 - #2 Jake Percival, Ohio vs. #3 Ryan Bertin, Michigan

165 - #1 Troy Letters, Lehigh vs. #2 David Bolyard, Central Michigan

174 - #1 Chris Pendleton, Oklahoma State vs. #2 Ben Askren, Missouri

184 - #1 Greg Jones, West Virginia vs. #2 Paul Bradley, Iowa

197 - #1 Jon Trenge, Lehigh vs. #3 J.D. Bergman, Ohio State

285 - #1 Steve Mocco, Oklahoma State vs. #2 Cole Konrad, Minnesota

Local Feature Matches:

149 - Joe Rujawitz, SIU Edwardsville vs. Chad Swagman, Truman State

174 - George Kirgan, Northern Illinois vs. Kiel Geise, Missouri Valley

Coaches: Brian Smith (Missouri), Jack Spates (Oklahoma), Mike Denny (University of Nebraska-Omaha) and Pat Marsh (Augustana College