Lost in the “Madness” this past weekend was another NCAA championship in Philadelphia, PA. Penn State University won the NCAA Men’s Wrestling championship for its first team title since 1953. But it was the lightest men’s champion that everyone was talking about.
Arizona State’s Anthony Robles won the Men’s 125-lbs division to cap his brilliant senior year at 36-0. Robles dominated Iowa’s Matt McDonough 7-1 in the finals for one of two Arizona State individual champions crowned on Saturday. McDonough was the reigning NCAA champion.
Making Robles’ accomplishment even more impressive is that he did it all with only one leg. Born without a right leg, Robles’ has been accepting challenges with an incredible spirit and unyielding determination.
The Meza, AZ, native finished his final two years of high school wrestling a perfect 96-0, yet only received a partial athletic scholarship from Arizona State. After arriving in Tempe four years ago, Robles was able to run a mile, with crutches, in about 10 minutes. He now runs the mile in under 8 minutes. http://bit.ly/VXrqq
While initially lacking tremendous wrestling acumen, Robles continued to work hard and never accepted anything less than perfection.
Before the tournament Jason Skoda, from the Ahwatukee Foothills News, quoted Robles as saying, “If anything, I made it my advantage (only one leg). I read a quote by Kobe Bryant the other day in which he said that the only advantage he has is that he wants what all men want, he just wants it more.”
“I can attest to that. Everyone wants a national title, but no one wants it more. It is what I am going for and I am not going to let anyone stop me,” he added. No one did. Robles won five tournament matches by a combined score of 51-7 to capture ASU’s first individual title since 2003. http://bit.ly/gTGhNj
After graduation, Robles plans on becoming a motivational speaker and already has a job offer from a Japanese company.