UNI's Thomsen to wrestle NWCA All-Star Meet - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UNI's Thomsen to wrestle NWCA All-Star Meet

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UNI wrestler Max Thomsen earned a spot at the NWCA All-Star Classic 2017 set for 3 p.m. ET Nov. 5 in New Jersey.

“It has always been a dream,” said Thomsen. “I have seen a lot of great wrestlers compete in this, and I’m excited I get this opportunity.”

Thomsen joins teammate Drew Foster for the prestigious event.

“Everything is a big stage, you know?” said head coach Doug Schwab. “You earn these opportunities, and you have to enjoy them and make the most of them. Being the all-star dual, it’s a big deal. It shows he is one of the best guys in the country, which Max has planned to be since day one. Now other people are recognizing it too.”

Only 20 collegiate male wrestlers nationwide will be competing. There also will be a women's division.

“I am just focusing on having a good time and soaking it all in and taking advantage of a good opportunity,” Thomsen said. “It’s a pretty prestigious event, and I’m just lucky I get to wrestle in it. Summer went great. It went fast, and I’ve been in Cedar Falls training all summer. I’m excited to get things going.”

Thomsen and Foster will be the first Panthers competing in the event since 2004.

“I don’t know how many other teams have more than one guy at this event,” Schwab said. “So that already makes it a big deal. It puts a spotlight on the program, and people take notice. I am excited for these guys to compete. It’s been a while since they have been out there. That’s what I am excited to see, the growth they’ve had in a big atmosphere. These guys are ready to compete.”

The event will be held Princeton University's Jadwin Gymnasium in Princeton, New Jersey. Thomsen will face sophomore Matt Kolodzik from Princeton. Kolodzik is the first freshman to earn All-America honors for Princeton. He earned the No. 4 seed and finished seventh at 141 pounds at the 2017 Division I National Championships.

Thomsen earned his first All-America title with a fifth-place finish at 149 pounds at the 2017 NCAA Division I National Wrestling Championships. Thomsen, a business major, is a sophomore from La Porte City, Iowa. He was a four-time state champion competing for Union High School.

“For Max, I want to see all the things we’ve worked on all spring, summer and fall, to see those take hold in competition,” Schwab said. “The room is one thing, but to take hold in competition is another. You saw how much he grew through last season. So hopefully, he is at a different point this season and he grows that much again. It’s another starting point for the season.”

UNI wrestling will open its season Nov. 4 at the Harold Nichols Open in Ames, Iowa. The first home dual is set in the West Gym against North Dakota State 2 p.m. CT Nov. 12.

Foster will be facing senior Pete Renda of North Carolina State. Renda is a three-time NCAA qualifier and earned All-America honors in 2016. He redshirted last season after placing third at 184 pounds in 2016. He qualified as a true freshman and sophomore at 174 pounds.
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