ASU wrestlers Robles, Jenkins capture NCAA titles

<p>On the final night of the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships, two Arizona State University wrestlers stole the show as both Anthony Robles and Bubba Jenkins were crowned national champions of their respective weight classes, bringing the crowd of 17,687 fans to their feet in a pair of exciting matches.</p><separator></separator><p>The wins, which gave the Sun Devils two finalists and two champions in the same year for the first time since 1993, punctuated two impressive careers as the seniors wrestled their final matches on the raised stage inside the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa. The wins also made ASU the only program in the nation this year to have multiple champions as eight other schools each had one champion.</p><separator></separator><p>The pro-Pennsylvania crowd saw Penn State win its first title since 1953 as it scored 107.5 points to beat out the challenge from Cornell (93.5) and Iowa (86.5). Oklahoma State (70.5) and American (65.0) rounded out the Top 5 while the Sun Devils came in sixth with 62.5 points, giving the program their best finish since taking sixth in 2006.<br />Robles, the top-seed at 125 pounds, and Jenkins, the fourth-seeded competitor at 157, brought about several other firsts on the night as the duo gave ASU two finalists for the first time since 1993 when Markus Mollica (158), Ray Miller (167) and current head coach Shawn Charles (126) all reached the finals.</p><separator></separator><p>This year's duo also gave ASU multiple national champions for only the second time, equaling the wins posted by Mollica and Miller in 1993. Their titles also are the first for the program since Eric Larkin went 36-0 in 2003 to claim the 149 crown.</p><separator></separator><p>First up on the mat was Robles, who took on defending champion and second-seeded Matt McDonough (Iowa). Robles, looking to go undefeated on the year, locked up with McDonough on the opening whistle and, 44 seconds in to the match, scored a takedown for the early 2-0 lead. Robles then turned the Hawkeye twice, scoring a two-point near-fall and a three-point near-fall to end the period on top, 7-0. In the second, McDonough chose neutral, but no one scored, sending the 7-0 match to the final period. There, Robles was unable to escape and was hit with a stalling point penalty, but that was all the scoring, giving Robles a 7-1 decision and the NCAA title.</p><separator></separator><p>"My coaches prepared me well," Robles said after his title. "We've been working all year and the past few years on quick draws, quick stick... I couldn't have done it without him. I felt super confident out there and it was a team effort. I want to thank my training partners and my family for supporting me and it wasn't just me out there. I was doing it for all them, too. I feels great to be a national champion."</p><separator></separator><p>Following the tournament, Robles was selected as the Outstanding Wrestler, making him the first Sun Devil to capture the honor since Larkin did so in 2003. For Robles, it marked the fourth tournament he competed in this season and the fourth O.W. award he was selected for (Las Vegas Invitational, Reno TOC, Pac-10s, NCAAs).</p><separator></separator><p>At 157, a showdown that many were awaiting came to be as Jenkins, seeded fourth, faced off with David Taylor, the third-seeded wrestler that took over the weight class for Penn State after Jenkins' departure to ASU this fall. The crowd was into the match, yelling out for scores, but saw both men unable to finish their attempts and keep the match tied, 0-0, through one. In the second, Taylor chose down and escaped four seconds into the period to take a 1-0 lead. After a scramble, Jenkins locked up a cradle on Taylor, flipped him to his back and pinned the Nittany Lion sophomore, giving Jenkins the crown with a fall in 4:41.</p><separator></separator><p>"I definitely feel like I was underrated," Jenkins said. "They always underrate me. I guess since I moved West and got a tan, they forgot about me and didn't think I was going to be back. The tournament was in Philly, I was coming back to PA, and it wasn't just to see the sights and reminisce with old friends. It was coming to win it. I showed up here tonight in a business suit, told my mom, `Bring my business suit. I don't want to wrestle, I don't want to show up in my wrestler wrestling gear.' It's what I came for. I spent five hours on a flight for a business trip. And I went out there and handled my business."</p><separator></separator><p>Jenkins' win made him just the fourth wrestler in NCAA history to reach the final of a weight class for two different schools, this time with Jenkins on top after he placed second in 2008 at 149 pounds for PSU. All four of those individuals won at least one title in their career, either before or after transferring.</p><separator></separator><p>Earlier in the day, Levi Cooper was on the mat for seventh place, but was pinned in 2:37 by No. 8 Anthony Nelson (Minnesota) to fall to eighth place. Regardless of the finish, Cooper earned All-America honors just two years (and three schools) after going 11-15 as a freshman for Portland State. His honor gave ASU its most All-Americans in the same tournament since four Sun Devils earned the distinction in 2006.</p><separator></separator><p>With the conclusion of the tournament, the 2010-11 season comes to a close for the Sun Devils. The team will hold its annual awards banquet on March 30 at Dave and Buster's Tempe Marketplace.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships</strong><br />Wells Fargo Center • Philadelphia, Pa.<br />Day Three Results, March 19, 2011</p><separator></separator><p>(Number before name indicates tournament seeding)</p><separator></separator><p><strong>125 - #1 Anthony Robles (5-0, All-American &amp; NCAA CHAMPION)</strong><br /> Final - #1 Robles dec. #2 Matt McDonough (Iowa), 7-1</p><separator></separator><p><strong>157 - #4 Bubba Jenkins (5-0, All-American &amp; NCAA CHAMPION) </strong><br />Final - #4 Jenkins pinned #2 David Taylor (Penn State), 4:41</p><separator></separator><p><strong>285 - Levi Cooper (3-3, All-American &amp; 8th Place) </strong><br />7th Place - #8 Anthony Nelson (Minnesota) pinned Cooper, 2:37</p><separator></separator><p><strong>FULL TOURNAMENT RESULTS </strong><br />(Number before name indicates tournament seeding)</p><separator></separator><p><strong>125 - #1 Anthony Robles (5-0, All-American &amp; NCAA CHAMPION)</strong></p><separator></separator><p>Round of 32 - #1 Robles tech fall Matthew Snyder (Virginia), 17-1 (4:23)<br />Round of 16 - #1 Robles tech fall Steven Keith (Harvard), 15-0 (3:32)<br />Quarterfinal - #1 Robles dec. #8 Jarrod Patterson (Oklahoma), 9-3 - All-American<br />Semifinal - #1 Robles dec. Ben Kjar (Utah Valley), 4-2<br />Final - #1 Robles dec. #2 Matt McDonough (Iowa), 7-1</p><separator></separator><p><strong>157 - #4 Bubba Jenkins (5-0, All-American &amp; NCAA CHAMPION)</strong></p><separator></separator><p>Round of 32 - #4 Jenkins major Alex Medved (Gardner Webb), 16-5<br />Round of 16 - #4 Jenkins pinned Mark Lewandowski (Buffalo), 5:41<br />Quarterfinal - #4 Jenkins dec. #12 Paul Young (Indiana), 4-3 - All-American<br />Semifinal - #4 Jenkins dec. #8 Jason Welch (Northwestern), 8-5<br />Final - #4 Jenkins pinned #2 David Taylor (Penn State), 4:41</p><separator></separator><p><strong>174 - Eric Starks (1-2, DNP)</strong></p><separator></separator><p>Round of 32 - #5 Chris Henrich (Virginia) major Starks, 10-2<br />Conso. First - Starks dec. Brandon Wright (Chattanooga), 2-0<br />Conso. Second - Scott Glasser (Minnesota) dec. Starks, 6-0</p><separator></separator><p><strong>184 - Jake Meredith (1-2, DNP)</strong></p><separator></separator><p>Round of 32 - Meredith major Richard Shafer (Iowa State), 10-0<br />Round of 16 - #3 Steve Bosak (Cornell) pinned Meredith, 4:41<br />Conso. Second - Jonathan Fausey (Virginia) major Meredith, 8-0</p>