ASU's Robles, Drouin Advance to Quarters at NCAA Wrestling Tourney

March 19, 2009

Updated NCAA Brackets (through Thursday night) - PDF

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Anthony Robles and Chris Drouin each captured two wins in the opening rounds of action and advanced to the quarterfinals as the first day of competition came to a close for the Arizona State University duo at the 2009 NCAA Wrestling Championships inside the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo., Thursday night. Both Sun Devils, who exited the tournament last year one win shy of earning All-America honors, are now again one win from the national honor and three wins away from an individual national title.

In the team standings, the Sun Devils have scored eight points and are tied with Virginia Tech (four wrestlers) and Wyoming (four wrestlers) for 32nd place. Iowa and Iowa State lead the way with 33 points each with the Top 5 rounded out by Ohio State (30), Nebraska (24) and Edinboro (22.5). Only two other Pac-10 schools are ahead of ASU and they include sixth-place Boise State (22) and 29th-place CS Bakersfield (nine points).

The No. 12 seed at 125 pounds, Robles opened his second national tournament by scoring a 5-0 decision over Nikko Triggas of Ohio State before winning his second round match with an 8-3 upset of fifth-seeded Charlie Falck of Iowa. In the first match, Robles scored a takedown in the first period and rode out Triggas to take a 2-0 lead through one. Triggas chose down to start the second, but Robles would not let him escape while looking to turn him, but no points were scored with Robles leading. In the third, Robles chose down and eventually escaped to make it 3-0 and capped the win with another takedown for the 5-0 final.

Robles’ second match looked to give the sophomore a measure of revenge as he faced Falck, who won their dual in Iowa City, Iowa, on November 21, 2-1, and also won a dual in the Valley last year, 8-6. The match opened in grand fashion for the Sun Devil captain as he scored a takedown and turned Falck for three near-fall points to take a 5-0 lead before Falck reversed him to end the period with Robles on top, 5-2. Falck chose neutral to start the second before Robles scored another takedown (7-2) and Falck escaped to make it 7-3. Starting down to open the third, Robles escaped for the 8-3 lead and held on for the win by the same score.

Drouin had a tougher road to his 2-0 start to the tournament as the seventh-seeded Sun Devil opened with a 9-3 decision over William Simpson of Army in the first round before winning an injury-shortened marathon over Northern Iowa’s Trent Washington via injury default. In the opener, Drouin scored a takedown in the first period and remained in control to take a 2-0 lead through one. Simpson chose down to start the second and escaped for a 2-1 score before Drouin started the third down and reversed his opponent for a 4-1 lead. After Simpson escaped, Drouin scored two more takedowns and added the riding time point for the 9-3 final.

The second match of the day for Drouin was both exciting and nerve-wracking for the Sun Devil on many levels. After neither wrestler could score in the first period, Drouin went down to start the second and escaped for a 1-0 lead before Washington did the same to start the third period. Drouin nearly won the match with 15 second remaining, but he was unsuccessful on the takedown attempt and the match went into overtime. In that one minute session, neither wrestler scored and Washington chose down to open the tie-breaker sessions. After escaping for a 2-1 lead, Drouin went down in the second half of the session and also escaped to force another one-minute overtime.

In the second overtime, Washington nearly won the match on the edge, but the referee’s determined it was not a takedown and the tie-breaker sessions came into play for a second time. Drouin went down first and escaped to make it 3-2 before Washington repeated the same scoring to again tie the match at three and send it to a third overtime. But, in the third overtime, Washington suffered a neck injury and was carried off the mat on a stretcher. Unable to continue in the match, Drouin was awarded the victory by default.

Both Sun Devils will compete in the quarterfinals on Friday morning with the matches available for viewing online at Robles will face fourth-seeded Brandon Precin of Northwestern while Drouin will take on Nick Nelson of Virginia, who upset the second-seeded Zach Tanelli of Wisconsin in the second round. Regardless of the outcome Friday morning, both men will wrestle again Friday night, either in the semifinals with a win Friday morning or in the consolation rounds.

NCAA Wrestling Championships
Day 1 - Thursday, March 19 - Scottrade Center (St. Louis)
# indicates tournament seed (if applicable)
125 - #12 Anthony Robles (2-0)
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 vs. #4 Brandon Precin (Northwestern) - Friday morning

141 - #7 Chris Drouin (2-0)
1st Round - #7 Drouin dec. William Simpson (Army), 9-3
2nd Round - #7 Drouin def. Trent Washington (No. Iowa), injury default
Quarterfinal - #7 Drouin vs. Nick Nelson (Virginia) - Friday morning

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