Audio Interview: Pat Santoro
Lehigh senior Robert Hamlin has been selected to participate in the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic, November 3 in Washington, D.C., the NWCA announced late Monday night. The two-time EIWA Champion and All-American will battle Kevin Steinhaus of Minnesota at the 184 pound weight class at the All-Star Classic, the annual meet featuring the nation's top wrestlers.
"I'm excited to be selected, I've heard great things about the event and I'm looking forward to competing," Hamlin. "I've wrestled Steinhaus before. He's a great opponent and it should be a good start to the season for both of us."
Hamlin and Steinhaus have officially met just once previously, with Hamlin winning a 3-2 decision in the consolation semifinals at the 2012 NCAA Championships.
Through three seasons, Hamlin has compiled an impressive 81-18 record. He finished last season with a 31-3 record and followed up his second EIWA title with a fourth place finish at the NCAA Championships. Hamlin also captured the 184-pound title at the Midlands Championships in late December. Hamlin was 32-3 as a sophomore, as he captured his first EIWA title and then rolled into the national finals where finished second to become the first NCAA Wrestling Division I All-American from the state of Vermont. Nicknamed "The Vermonster," Hamlin is also a two-time member of the NWCA All-Academic Team and the Materials Science and Engineering major was named a third team Capital One At-Large Academic All-America last summer.
Steinhaus comes in with an exceptional record as well, going 67-18 for the Golden Gophers. Last season he posted a record of 34-6 while going undefeated in Big-10 dual competition. Steinhaus is also a two-time All-American, finishing fifth in 2012 and eighth in 2011, while also capturing the 2012 Big Ten title at 184.
Hamlin will be the first Lehigh wrestler to compete at the NWCA All-Star classic since Cory Cooperman and Troy Letters represented the Brown and White in Edwardsville, Illinois in November, 2004. Cooperman dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to Teyon Ware of Oklahoma, while Letters won a 3-2 decision over David Bolyard of Central Michigan.
Lehigh wrestlers own a 13-13 career record at the All-Star Classic. Mike Caruso was the first Lehigh wrestler to compete in the classic, defeating Jim Hanson of Colorado 6-3 back in 1967.
The NWCA All-Star Classic presented by the United States Marine Corps will occur on November 3, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. in Bender Arena on the campus of American University in Washington D.C. The NWCA All-Star classic is hosted by the DC Athletic Club and Greater Washington Business Network and is also sponsored by Balance Bar.
Story written with assistance from Josh Fitch '13