It’s an event that has been labeled the “Rose Bowl of Wrestling”. The 44th edition of the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic, formerly the Dapper Dan, will take place Sunday, March 25th on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania, the only state capable of assembling a team that could unseat a national all-star team on a yearly basis, has a formidable squad that is led by four-time state champion Gavin Teasdale. The USA All-Star team has a combined record of 2283-98 and features 13 wrestlers that have combined to win 40 state titles. The top three recruits from the high school class of 2018 will be competing for the USA All-Star Team. Here’s a look at the matchup and TOM’s predictions at each weight class.
120 lbs - #10 Joey Melendez (Montini Catholic, IL) vs. #20 Jaret Lane (Southern Columbia, PA)
The key to this matchup is the health of Joey Melendez. The two-time Illinois state champion was reportedly wrestling with a severe injury during the postseason, and it helped contribute to his fourth-place finish. Slightly more than a month later, Joey will back in action. During his senior season, Melendez finished as a runner-up at the Walsh Ironman and took home a crown at the Cheesehead. His opponent, Jaret Lane, is fresh off his second Pennsylvania state title. He faced and defeated the same opponent, Chase Shields of Bishop McDevitt, to earn both of his state championships. Over the course of his career, Jaret has placed six times in freestyle and Greco-Roman competition at Fargo. The only blemish on Lane’s 2017-18 record was a loss in the finals of Escape the Rock. If healthy, expect Melendez to look more like the wrestler that was consistently ranked in the top five all season that the one that was upset at the state tournament.
College Commitment: Melendez (North Carolina); Lane (Lehigh)
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