Neighborhood battle scheduled in all-N.J. bout at 165; All-Americans Baynes, Cantu get the nod at 191 at NWCA All-Star Classic
Manheim, Pennsylvania — Rider’s Chad Walsh and Princeton’s Jonathan Schleifer grew up wresting in New Jersey. Both opted to attend Division I colleges in New Jersey. Both are set to wrestle at 165 pounds at the 52nd annual NWCA All-Star Classic set for Princeton University’s Jadwin Gym on Sunday, November 5.
The NWCA All-Star Classic is hosted by Wrestlers in Business Network and sponsored by Princeton Brain and Spine and Northwestern Mutual Life.
All-Americans Paige Baynes of Grays Harbor College and Alyssa Cantu of Missouri Valley will complete the women’s weights as the two have agreed to compete at 191 pounds.
Walsh, a graduate of Camden Catholic in Cherry Hill, is a two-time All-American and could become Rider’s first three-time Division I All-American. Entering the 2016 NCAA Division I Championships as the No. 15 seed as a sophomore, Walsh and his unorthodox style rose to national prominence with a fifth-place finish. A known entity in 2017, Walsh entered as the No. 5 seed but slipped to seventh on the awards stand.
Schleifer, from East Brunswick, is a three-time NCAA qualifier who will be returning to 165 pounds after spending the last two seasons at 174. After an 18-10 season a year ago, Schleifer is looking to make one final run at the podium and regain the form he experienced as a sophomore, where he won 21 matches and reached the finals of the Midlands.
Walsh will join Rider teammate B.J. Clagon (157) in the event and it will mark the first time the Broncs have two representatives. Bronc wrestlers are 2-3 overall. Princeton also shares the distinction with its neighbor. Schleifer joins Matthe Kolodzik (149) as Tigers in the match, the first time two Princeton wrestlers have participated in the same year as well.
On the women’s side, Paige Baynes of Grays Harbor College will be the second Choker representative in the event. The two-time WCWA All-American and transfer from Lindenwood is slotted to face 2017 WCWA All-American Alyssa Cantu of Missouri Valley at 191 pounds.
Both wrestlers fell to eventual champion Payten Smith of Simon Fraser in last year’s WCWA National Championships. Cantu was beaten in the quarterfinals while Baynes fell in the finals by fall in a bout she was leading 9-0 at one point.
A native of Houston, Texas and Cypress Ridge High School, Baynes was a two-time state runner-up prior to college. Texas is one of six states that offer girls wrestling on the high school level and the state has been one of the most fertile recruiting grounds for fledgling WCWA programs.
Cantu, a senior from Stockton, California, is coming off a 27-14 junior season and her first All-American finish. As a sophomore at 170, Cantu went 1-2 at the WCWA championships. Last season, she rebounded from the quarterfinal loss to Smith to win three consolation bouts and earn a fifth-place finish.
On Friday, the NWCA also released Grays Harbor’s Kacie Moorehouse would replace U. of the Cumberlands’ Jessika Rottier at 170.
By the numbers
In total, 37 of the 40 athletes slated to compete have been All-Americans at some point in their collegiate careers. On the men’s side, wrestlers have totaled two NCAA titles, three finals appearances and 24 All-American finishes. The women’s field features seven total WCWA national titles, 15 finals appearances and 36 All-American finishes. Thirteen different Division I institutions make up the field on the men’s side, while the WCWA field features 12 different programs. Campbellsville and Grays Harbor are only schools with three wrestlers in the event.
WHAT: 52nd NWCA All-Star Classic hosted by Wrestlers in Business Network
WHEN: Sunday, November 5, 3 p.m.
WHERE: Jadwin Gym, Princeton University, Princeton, N.J.
TICKETS: $20 (group discounts available)
SOCIAL MEDIA: #ComeBackToJadwin #allstarclassic2017 #wrestleback
125: Darian Cruz, Sr. (Lehigh) vs. Nick Piccininni, So. (Oklahoma State)
133: Seth Gross, Jr. (South Dakota State) vs. Stevan Micic, So. (Michigan)
141: Kevin Jack, Sr. (NC State) vs. Bryce Meredith, Sr. (Wyoming)
149: Max Thomsen, So. (Northern Iowa) vs. Matthew Kolodzik, So. (Princeton)
157: Alec Pantaleo, Jr. (Michigan) vs. B.J. Clagon, Sr. (Rider)
165: Chad Walsh, Sr. (Rider) vs. Jonathan Schleifer, Sr. (Princeton)
174: Mark Hall, So. (Penn State) vs. Zahid Valencia, So. (Arizona State)
184: Pete Renda, Sr. (NC State) vs. Drew Foster, Jr. (Northern Iowa)
197: Kollin Moore, So. (Ohio State) vs. Jared Haught, Sr. (Virginia Tech)
285: Tanner Hall, Jr. (Arizona State) vs. Nick Nevills, Jr. (Penn State)
101: Marina Doi, Sr. (King) vs. Hiba Salem, Jr. (Menlo)
109: Maria Vidales, So. (Emmanuel) vs. Charlotte Fowler, So. (Campbellsville)
116: Fayth Woodward, Jr. (Emmanuel) vs. Makayla Bourbon, Sr. (U. of the Cumberlands)
123: Dom Parrish, Jr. (Simon Fraser) vs. Amber Pair, So. (Eastern Oregon)
130: Megan Black, Sr. (McKendree) vs. Shelby Hall, Sr. (Campbellsville)
136: Kayla Miracle, Sr. (Campbellsville) vs. Solin Piearcy, So. (Menlo)
143: Mallory Velte, Sr. (Simon Fraser) vs. Desiree Zavala, So. (Grays Harbor)
155: Niauni Hill, Sr. (Lindenwood-Belleville) vs. Kiera Gabaldon, Jr. (Warner Pacific)
170: Brandy Lowe, Sr. (McKendree) vs. Kacie Moorehouse, So. (Grays Harbor)
191: Paige Baynes, Jr. (Grays Harbor) vs. Alyssa Cantu, Sr. (Missouri Valley)
Note: Women’s college wrestling competes under international freestyle rules.