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Match-ups set for Collegiate All-Star Challenge in Sioux City



SIOUX CITY, Iowa - A total of nine returning national champions and top-ranked wrestlers head final line-up for the Collegiate All-Star Challenge in Sioux City, Iowa on Saturday, December 30, 2006. Athletes from across the country will represent their institutions in 13 matches between some of the finest wrestlers in NCAA Division II and Division III, the NAIA and the nation's Junior Colleges.

Returning national champions scheduled to compete include: Mark Dickman (149) and Jake Dieffenbach (165) of Lindenwood University and Jesse Laber (197) of the University of Mary. Athletes who have earned a No. 1 ranking this season are: Andrew Lacroix (141) of Roger Williams University, Joe Soto (141) of Iowa Central, Mikel Delk (149) of Ft. Hays State, Hayden Harrison (157) of Embry-Riddle, Jasper Lockett (184) of Missouri Valley College and Sam Sand (285) of Jamestown.

Also competing are four wrestlers ranked No. 2 in the country: Richard Byrd (2) of Embry-Riddle, Jestin Hulegaard (133) of Buena Vista, Joffre Lander (184) of Embry-Riddle and Nate Buys (197) of Augustana (SD).

The inaugural Collegiate All-Star Challenge has also received the endorsement of the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) for its efforts to promote the sport of wrestling.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase our wrestling champions in an area that obviously has one of the best fan bases and wrestling traditions in this country," stated NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer. "Sioux City has a demonstrated history of support for amateur wrestling and we are forever grateful for their tireless effort on behalf of our college heroes."

Wrestling gets underway at 7 p.m. at the Long Lines Center (adjacent to the Tyson Events Center) in Sioux City.

Final match assignments (individual ranking in parentheses):

125 pounds: (2) Richard Byrd - Embry-Riddle vs. (6) Anthony Nicolicchia Roger Williams

133 pounds: (2) Jestin Hulegaard - Buena Vista vs. (3) Burke Barnes - Dana

141 pounds: (1) Andrew Lacroix - Roger Williams vs. (1) Joe Soto - Iowa Central

141 pounds: (3) Terrance Almond - Dana vs. (4) Chris Frejie - Western State

149 pounds: (1) Mark Dickman - Lindenwood vs. (1) Mikel Delk - Ft. Hays State

157 pounds: (1) Hayden Harrison - Embry-Riddle vs. (3) Austin Scarset - Augustana

165 pounds: (1) Jake Dieffenbach - Lindenwood vs. (6) Blake Peterson -Truman State

174 pounds: (5) Cody Henriksen - Augustanda vs. (7) Enoch Francois - Northwestern (IA)

184 pounds: (1) Jasper Lockett - Missouri Valley vs. (2) Joffre Lander - Embry-Riddle

184 pounds: (6) Mike Howell - Ft. Hays State vs. (8) Jay Figgins - Loras

197 pounds: (2) Nate Buys - Augustana vs. ('05 NAIA Champion) Jesse Laber - Mary

197 pounds: 4) Ben Strandberg - Buena Vista vs. (5) Andrew Lundgren - Northwestern (IA)

285 pounds: (1) Sam Sand - Jamestown vs. (3) Andrew Ubben - Ft. Hays State

All tickets are general admission and will be available only at the door. Adult tickets are $10 and children under age 12 are $5.
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