The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) 2012 Wrestling National Championship is in Des Moines for the first time in the event’s 55-year history. The event brings 500 wrestlers, coaches and staff to the Iowa State Fairgrounds Jacobson Exhibition Center March 1-3. An estimated 10,000 attendees are expected over the course of the event, resulting in a near $1 million economic impact on Greater Des Moines.

Grand View University is the local host of this event, along with the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau and Des Moines Area Sports Commission.

NAIA announced the qualifiers for the 2012 NAIA Wrestling National Championships last week. The first of six sessions is set to get underway at 11 a.m. on March 1. Brackets will be posted February 29 by 9 p.m.

Among the 320 qualifiers are 24 returning All-Americans, including two defending national champions and two runner-up finishers. Searching for a second-consecutive title will be Great Fall’s (Mont.) Anthony Varnell at 141 pounds and Evan Hinebauch of Montana State-Northern at 184 pounds. Hinebauch, along with Campbellsville’s Tommy Pretty, enter the championships as the only three-time All-Americans. Pretty claimed the 133 pound individual title in 2010, before moving up to the 141 pound class in 2011.

Each weight class will have at least one returning All-American in action in Des Moines, with both 141 and 165 pounds featuring four All-Americans.

Grand View enters the tournament as the team favorite. The Vikings qualified 12 individuals and have held the top spot in the NAIA Wrestling Coaches’ Top 20 Poll for four consecutive weeks.

NeuLion will stream live all 10 individual weight class championship bouts on March 3 and will be available to view starting at approximately 6:45 p.m. A fee of $9.95 is set to view the finals. For more information visit