McMullan vs Gwiazdowski at NWCA All Star Classic
National Wrestling Coaches Association Release
Mike McMullan to challenge NCAA heavyweight champion Nick Gwiazdowski at NWCA All-Star Classic
Manheim, Pennsylvania -- The fifth matchup released by the National Wrestling Coaches Association for the upcoming All-Star Classic will be a good one.
Returning NCAA Division I heavyweight champion Nick Gwiazdowski of N.C. State will take on three-time All-American Mike McMullan of Northwestern at the NWCA All-Star Classic presented by the United States Marine Corps and the Wrestlers in Business Network hosted by Penn and WIBN-Philadelphia on November 1 at the Palestra on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.
McMullan is looking to break an All-Star slump of sorts. The Easton, Pennsylvania native will be making his third straight appearance in the event. He lost to two-time NCAA champion Tony Nelson of Minnesota last season at George Mason University and fell to Missouri’s Dom Bradley by a point a year prior at American University.
Gwiazdowski, a two-time All-American who redshirted in 2012-13 after transferring from Binghamton, where he finished eighth in 2012 at the NCAA Division I Championships, will be the third N.C. State heavyweight to wrestle in the event. Gwiazdowski hails from Duanesburg, New York.
The pair have split matches against one another during their collegiate careers. McMullan took a 2012 matchup 5-3 in the consolation quarterfinals at the NCAA Division I Championships in St. Louis, Missouri, while last season, Gwiazdowski topped McMullen 5-3 in sudden victory in a dual meet. McMullan comes in with a 71-20 overall record, including a 20-5 record last year. Gwiazdowski is 73-11 in two full seasons of college wrestling including a 43-2 record last season.
“When you talk about the current crop of heavyweight wrestlers, you see a lot more athletic, active wrestlers around the mats. Nick Gwiazdowski and Mike McMullan are two of those gifted big guys,” said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer. “Mike McMullan has been in the event on two other occasions, so it’s obviously a big deal for him to try to win, while Gwiazdowski comes in as the king of the mountain to start the year. Everyone’s going to want to try to knock him off.”
Wolfpack wrestlers have competed in the event on eight occasions, holding a 3-5 overall mark. But of the now nine appearances, it will be the fifth time an N.C. State heavyweight takes to the mat. The late Tab Thacker split to matches after he appeared in 1983 and 1984, while Sylvester Terkay was 2-0 in his career at the All-Star Classic, with a notable win coming over Olympic champion Rulon Gardner in 1993 when the event was held at Lehigh.
Northwestern first appeared in the event in 1968 when Russ Schnieder competed at 160 pounds in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Overall, Wildcat wrestlers have appeared 14 times with a 5-9 overall record. Jason Welch was the last Wildcat to win a match at the All-Star Classic, beating American’s Ganbayar Sanjaa 8-5 at 157 pounds in Tempe, Arizona in 2011.
To purchase tickets to the event, click here for the Penn Athletic Ticket Office.