Robles Places Fourth, Drouin Sixth at NCAA Wrestling Championships

March 21, 2009

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - The 2009 NCAA Wrestling Championships came to a close for the Arizona State University wrestling team inside the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo., on Saturday, but not before two Sun Devils earned All-America honors and recognition from the over 15,000 fans in attendance. Anthony Robles, seeded 12th at 125 pounds, finished fourth overall in his weight class while Chris Drouin, seeded seventh at 141 pounds, placed sixth overall as both earned All-America honors for the program for the first time since 2006 when current assistant coach Brian Stith place second (157) and current UFC stars Cain Velasquez (4th, heavyweight), C.B. Dollaway (5th, 184) and Ryan Bader (7th, 197) each attained the honor.

As a team, Robles and Drouin combined to score 27.5 points and place the Sun Devils tied for 20th as a team. The program’s 63rd (103rd overall) and 64th (104th) All-American, respectively, helped the Sun Devil team place higher than all Pac-10 teams other than Boise State, who finished 12th with 46.5 points. Iowa won the team title with 96.5 points and was followed in the Top 5 by Ohio State (92.0), Iowa Strate (84.5), Nebraska (76.5) and Cornell (73.5).

Although both Sun Devils fell in their final matches of the day, the two sophomores not only placed among the Top 6 nationally and earned All-America honors, they both put the Sun Devil wrestling program back into the national spolight just nine months after the program had been discontinued. Both wrestlers placed higher than they were seeded and advanced to the national semifinals before falling to the consolation rounds and placement matches.

Robles went 1-1 on the final day of competition to finish fourth overall, winning his consolation semifinal match in a 19-10 major decision over 11th-seeded Zachary Sanders of Minnesota before falling in a rematch to fourth-seeded Brandon Precin of Northwestern, 3-1. Drouin was not as fortunate as he fell twice on the day, including a 3-1 sudden victory loss to second-seeded Zach Tanellis of Wisconsin before falling to unseeded Alex Krom of Maryland, 4-0, in the fifth-place match. For the tournament, Robles posted a record of 4-2 and finished the season with a 29-8 overall record while Drouin went 3-3 in St. Louis and ended the season with a 29-9 record.

In his first match of the day, Robles came out on fire against Sanders, scoring a takedown and three, three-point nearfalls before Sanders escaped to make it 11-1 at the end of the first. Sanders chose neutral to start the second and scored a takedown before Robles escaped to make it 12-3. Robles took Sanders down near the end of the second to send the match to the final stanza with the Sun Devil on top, 14-3. After escaping bottom to open the third, Robles was taken down and turned for three points before escaping to make it 15-8, but was taken down again and escaped to make the score 16-10. Sanders took Robles down for two more points (16-10) before he escaped and added a point each for a penalty called and riding time. With the win, Robles avenged an earlier 7-3 loss to Sanders at the Las Vegas Invitational and moved on to wrestle for third place.

In the third-place match, Robles face Precin, who he defeated in the quarterfinals with a 9-0 major decision. Precin, who was turned by Robles three times in the second period in their first meeting, opened with a takedown and rode out Robles for a 2-0 lead through one. Robles chose down in the second, but could not escape, which essentially gave Precin the riding time bonus. With Precin on bottom in the third, Robles could not turn his foe, but was awarded a stalling point, but it was not enough as he fell, 3-1, and took fourth place.

Drouin’s day started with a tough loss to the second-seeded Tanelli, who at one point in the season was the nation’s top-ranked wrestler. After a scoreless first period of action Tanelli chose down to start the second and escaped to make it 1-0. Drouin, however, duplicated Tanelli to start the third, which sent the match to overtime. But, seconds into the overtime period, Tanelli scored the takedown and won the match, 3-1.

In the fifith-place match, Drouin met up with the unseeded Krom and was taken down in the first period to trail 2-0 through one. Drouin chose neutral to start the second period, but neither wrestler scored. Krom chose down to start the third and escaped before adding the riding time point to win 4-0 and push Drouin to sixth place.

Overall, Robles is the first Sun Devil to earn All-America honors at 125 pounds while Drouin is just the third (Eric Larkin in 2001 and 2002). Robles’ honor is the first for the program at the lowest weight contested since Danny Felix placed seventh at 118 pounds in 1995 while his fourth-place showing is the highest placement at the lowest weight class since Zeke Jones placed second at 118 pounds in 1990.

NCAA Wrestling Championships
Day 3 - Saturday, March 21 - Scottrade Center (St. Louis)
# indicates tournament seed (if applicable)
125 - #12 Anthony Robles (4-2, Fourth Place & All-American)
Conso Semi - #12 Robles major #11 Zachary Sanders (Minnesota), 19-10
Third-Fourth - #4 Brandon Precin (Northwestern) dec. #12 Robles, 3-1

141 - #7 Chris Drouin (3-3, Sixth Place & All-American)
Conso Semi - #2 Zach Tanelli (Wisconsin) dec. #7 Drouin, 3-1 sv
Fifth-Sixth - Alex Krom (Maryland) dec. #7 Drouin, 4-0

COMPLETE ASU RESULTS
# indicates tournament seed (if applicable)
125 - #12 Anthony Robles (4-2, Fourth Place & 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 major #11 Zachary Sanders (Minnesota), 19-10
Third-Fourth - #4 Brandon Precin (Northwestern) dec. #12 Robles, 3-1

141 - #7 Chris Drouin (3-3, Sixth Place & 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 - #2 Zach Tanelli (Wisconsin) dec. #7 Drouin, 3-1 sv
Fifth-Sixth - Alex Krom (Maryland) dec. #7 Drouin, 4-0

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