National wrestling meet set

There won’t be metal folding chairs flying in the air, or guys battling in the confines of a steel cage.

This is the way wrestling is supposed to be, and Las Vegas will have plenty of action beginning today.

For the 18th straight year, the Las Vegas Sports Committee will host the United States National Wrestling Championships at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The tournament runs through Saturday.

More than 2,000 athletes are expected to compete in the tournament, which includes the U.S. Freestyle Nationals, U.S. Greco-Roman Nationals, U.S. Women’s Nationals and U.S. Veteran’s Nationals.

The top eight finishers in the men’s freestyle, Greco-Roman and women’s divisions will qualify for the World Team Trials here on June 9 and 10.

In addition, the top three placers in the junior freestyle and Greco-Roman competitions will be placed on their state’s junior national team.

“We are extremely glad to have this event back in Las Vegas,” said Larry Barnson, LVSC president. “This is a chance for the best wrestlers in the country to showcase their talents. With this year also being a critical year to get world exposure before the Olympics, we are gearing up for one of the biggest tournaments we’ve hosted.”

According to Barnson, over 12,000 spectators will attend the four-day event.

National championships will be decided in seven weight divisions for men and women. For the men, the weight divisions are 55, 60, 66, 74, 84, 96 and 120 kilograms. The seven women’s divisions are 48, 51, 55, 59, 63, 67 and 72 kilograms.

Barnson said there will be plenty of action for the casual fan to enjoy.

“First of all, it’s going to be hectic, because so much goes on at one time,” Barnson said. “However, fans will get to see the best wrestlers in the country, from all age groups. It’s also great to see the wrestlers from the area compete against the nation’s best. Once Friday and Saturday comes, fans will see the cream of the crop.”

Advance VIP, preferred and general admission all-event tickets are on sale through the LVCS ticket office at 1-866-418-0372. VIP packages for all four days are $150 each, preferred all-event tickets are $70 each and general admission all-event tickets are $50 for adults and $25 for youth (ages 6 through 17).

Preferred and general admission daily tickets will be available at the door only. Preferred daily tickets are $35, while general admission daily tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for youth.

Tickets for Saturday’s finals, which begin at 6 p.m., will be available on the day of the event at the door. Preferred will be $25 each, and general admission tickets for the finals will be $20 for adults and $10 for youth.

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