Sun Devils Robles, Drouin Earn All-America Honors at NCAA Wrestling

March 20, 2009

Updated NCAA Brackets (pdf)

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - For the first time in two seasons, the Arizona State University wrestling team will have an All-America finish at the national meet as both Anthony Robles and Chris Drouin each won their quarterfinal matches at the 2009 NCAA Wrestling Championships on Friday morning to earn their first All-America honors at the tournament being held inside the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo. Despite falling in the semifinals that were broadcast live on ESPN2, both wrestlers are guaranteed to finish no lower then sixth place in their respective weight classes.

With only two wrestlers representing ASU, Robles and Drouin have combined to score 23 points and put the Sun Devil team in a tie for 23rd place heading into the final day of competition. Ohio State leads the overall team race with 84.5 points and is followed in the Top 5 by Iowa (81), Iowa State (71.5), Nebraska (69) and Edinboro (63). Only one Pac-10 school stands ahead of the Sun Devils and that is Boise State, who is in 10th with 43 points.

In the quarterfinal round that opened the day’s competition, both Sun Devils took different paths to victory as Robles won a 9-0 major decision and Drouin scraped out a 3-2 decision. Seeded 12th at 125 pounds, Robles took on fourth-seeded Brandon Precin of Northwestern and worked through a scoreless first period before his foe chose down to start the second. In that period, Robles broke the scoring wide open as he used his over-powering grip to lock Precin into three, three-point near fall combinations to take a 9-0 lead through two. In the final period, Precin held Robles down the entire two minutes, but could not score to give Robles the major decision.

Drouin, who was involved in a low-scoring marathon the night before, returned to the mat and found himself in a scoreless first period before his opponent, Nick Nelson of Virginia, chose down and escaped to take a 1-0 lead in the second. Drouin then scored a takedown to make it 2-1 before Nelson escaped to tie the match at two heading in to the final period. In the third, Drouin started down and escaped before fighting off shots from Nelson to win, 3-2.

With the victories, which secured the All-America honors for both Sun Devils, Robles and Drouin moved into the semifinals where a pair of returning national champions awaited them. At 125 pounds, Robles faced top-seeded and undefeated Paul Donahoe of Edinboro, the 2007 NCAA Champion at Nebraska. After a scoreless first period, Donahoe chose down and escaped for a 1-0 lead with one period remaining. In the third, Robles quickly escaped, but Donahoe scored a takedown to make it 3-1 before Robles escaped once again (3-2). Pushing the action to try for the victory, Robles couldn’t find the takedown before Donahoe did, giving the Fighting Scott at 5-2 win.

At 141 pounds, Drouin took on Ohio State’s J Jaggers, who was seeded third after winning the national title last year, and found himself down 2-0 after Jaggers scored the takedown midway through the first. Jaggers chose down to start the second and escaped for the 3-0 lead. Drouin started to push the pace and shot in on a single leg attempt, but Jaggers, known for securing the cradle on his opponents, locked in the hold and turned Drouin to his back for the pin in 4:27.

Despite the losses, both Sun Devils could still finish as high as third overall. Both will compete in the consolation semifinals on Saturday morning with a win sending them to battle for third while a loss will place them in the fifth-place match. Robles will meet Minnesota’s No. 11 Zachary Sanders and will look to avenge a 7-3 loss to the Golden Gopher that was Robles’ lone blemish at the Las Vegas Invitational in December. Drouin will meet second-seeded Zach Tanelli of Wisconsin, an opponent he has yet to face in college.

Action on Saturday will begin at 10:30 a.m. Central and will be aired live on ESPNU and ESPN360.com.

NCAA Wrestling Championships
Day 2 - Friday, March 20 - Scottrade Center (St. Louis)
# indicates tournament seed (if applicable)
125 - #12 Anthony Robles (3-1, All-American)
Quarterfinal - #12 Robles major #4 Brandon Precin (Northwestern), 9-0 - All-American
Semifinal - #1 Paul Donahoe (Edinboro) dec. #12 Robles, 5-2
Conso Semi - #12 Robles vs. #11 Zachary Sanders (Minnesota) - Saturday morning

141 - #7 Chris Drouin (3-1, All-American)
Quarterfinal - #7 Drouin dec. Nick Nelson (Virginia), 3-2 - All-American
Semifinal - #3 J Jaggers (Ohio State) pinned #7 Drouin, 4:27
Conso Semi - #7 Drouin vs. #2 Zach Tanelli (Wisconsin) - Saturday morning

COMPLETE ASU RESULTS
# indicates tournament seed (if applicable)

125 - #12 Anthony Robles (3-1, All-American)
1st Round - #12 Robles dec. Nikko Triggas (Ohio State), 5-0
2nd Round - #12 Robles dec. #5 Charlie Falck (Iowa), 8-3
Quarterfinal - #12 Robles major #4 Brandon Precin (Northwestern), 9-0 - All-American
Semifinal - #1 Paul Donahoe (Edinboro) dec. #12 Robles, 5-2
Conso Semi - #12 Robles vs. #11 Zachary Sanders (Minnesota) - Saturday morning

141 - #7 Chris Drouin (3-1, All-American)
1st Round - #7 Drouin dec. William Simpson (Army), 9-3
2nd Round - #7 Drouin def. Trent Washington (No. Iowa), injury default
Quarterfinal - #7 Drouin dec. Nick Nelson (Virginia), 3-2 - All-American
Semifinal - #3 J Jaggers (Ohio State) pinned #7 Drouin, 4:27
Conso Semi - #7 Drouin vs. #2 Zach Tanelli (Wisconsin) - Saturday morning

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