Anthony Robles continues to do more on one leg than most college wrestlers on two. As the Arizona State grapplers close out their regular season today in a match against Stanford, they have three of their own nationally ranked, the highest being Robles.
Robles, who has wrestled his entire career with what would normally be considered a significant handicap, is ranked No. 3 in the nation at 125 pounds. Teammate Erik Nye is ranked No. 15 and closes out his career as a heavyweight at ASU this year, and Chris Douin, a redshirt junior wrestling at 141 lbs., rounds out the trio with a No. 17 ranking.
In ASU’s last match, with Iowa State, Robles had a come-from-behind win over Andrew Long, who is ranked just below him at No. 5. That win, in which Robles trailed 10-3 at the end of two periods, was his 10th in a row and raised his record to 24-2, with a perfect 15-0 score in dual competition.
Robles is also a red shirt junior, coming to ASU from local Mesa HS where he was a two-time state champion and compiled a 48-0 record in his last two years of high school. He was born with one leg but never let that hold him back from competing, a story that has been widely distributed among various media through the years.
Nye is an accomplished freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestler who won the 2008 University Nationals and ranked as high as third on the U.S. Olympic ladder in Greco-Roman. Drouin is a returning All American who finished sixth at the 2009 NCAA Wrestling Championships and second at the Pac-10 Championships.
The Sun Devils enter today’s match at 8-7 overall and 3-2 in Pac-10 matches. They have worked their way through a challenging schedule this year, facing a total of seven teams that are currently ranked in the Top 25 nationally, including No. 2 Iowa State, No. 3 Ohio State, and No. 4 Oklahoma State. Although not ranked, the Devils are one of four teams that received votes, which means they are just outside of being ranked in the Top 25.
ASU also had five wrestlers ranked in the Top 33, rankings just released yesterday by the NCAA. Those athletes selected will compete in each weight class at the national championship event next month. The Sun Devils selected include: Robles, Drouin, Nye, Ben Ashmore (133 lbs.), and Jake Meredith (184 lbs.).