Anthony Robles Finishes Season as National Champion with 36-0 Record
On Friday we wrote about Arizona State’s one-legged wrestler Anthony Robles who was the top seed in 125-pound weight class for the NCAA wrestling tournament. As of early Friday, Robles had won his quarterfinals match improving to 34-0. Later that day he beat Ben Kjar of Utah Valley in the semis, and on Saturday he defeated Matt McDonough of Iowa in the finals.
Robles entered the tournament as the top seed and finished the way he started — ranked first in the country. The tournament run punctuated Robles’ 36-0 perfect season and gave him the elusive national title he had been seeking.
Robles finished 4th in the NCAA tournament in his sophomore season and took a step back last season finishing 7th. He elevated his game in the off-season and came into the championships prepared to seize the moment. “I’ve dreamed about stepping on that stage a dozen times, and this whole year I’ve just been preparing for that moment,” Robles said. He admitted he “was scared out there, but as soon as I hit that first takedown, I sort of relaxed.”
The perfect season and national title is the ultimate sendoff for the senior. Not only did he achieve a personal goal by winning the national title, but the publicity generated from his successful season can help him become a role model for others. After winning it all, Robles explained “I wrestle because I love wrestling, but it inspires me when I get kids, even adults, who write me on Facebook or send me letters in the mail just saying that I’ve inspired them, and they look up to me, and they’re motivated to do things that other people wouldn’t have thought possible.”
After our first story on Robles, we got plenty of positive feedback from inspired fans. The more I started to watch Robles wrestle the more it occurred to me his lack of a leg allows him to distribute his weight to more advantageous places such as his upper body which is stronger than most of his opponents’. It’s hard to argue that a man without a leg has an advantage over full-bodied beings, but there’s little doubt Robles has made the most of his situation, and more importantly, that he’ll make a difference in many peoples’ lives as an inspirational figure. Congratulations to him on the national championship and perfect record.