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Sun Devil Robles named Pac-10 Conference Wrestler of the Year

April 01, 2009

The Pacific-10 Conference announced its annual wrestling award winners and Anthony Robles, a sophomore on the Arizona State University team, has been voted as the Pac-10 Wrestler of the Year, it was announced Wednesday. The 10th different Sun Devil to earn the wrestler of the year honor, Robles was selected in a vote of the conference coaches after winning his first Pac-10 title at 125 pounds and garnering All-America honors.

A native of Mesa, Ariz., Robles entered the Pac-10 Championships as the top-seed in his weight class, holding a 7-0 record against Pac-10 foes. At the Championships, Robles was voted as the Most Outstanding Wrestler as he went 3-0 with two wins by technical fall and one by pin en route to his first Pac-10 title. One year after falling in the finals, Robles came back and opened with a 16-0 technical fall in the first round before pinning Andre Gonzalez of CS Fullerton at 3:23 in the semifinals. In the championship match, Robles rolled his way to a 17-1 technical fall over Brandon Zoeteway of CS Bakersfield.

Following his first title, Robles added another first as he claimed All-America honors by going 4-2 overall and placing fourth at the NCAA Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Mo. Seeded 12th in the tournament, Robles opened with a 5-0 victory over Nikko Triggas of Ohio State before upsetting No. 5 Charlie Falck of Iowa, 8-3. In the quarterfinals, Robles assured himself of All-America honors as he upset No. 4 Brandon Precin of Northwestern with a 9-0 major decision. In the semifinals, however, No. 1 Paul Donahoe of Edinboro knocked Robles into the consolation rounds with a 5-2 decision before Robles again scored an upset with a 19-10 major decision over No. 11 Zachary Sanders of Minnesota. In the medal round, Precin came out on top with a 3-1 decision, giving Robles a fourth-place showing.

Overall, Robles ended his sophomore season with a 29-8 record overall and, of those 29 wins, 25 produced bonus points. On the year, Robles won a team-high 10 matches by technical fall, a team-high nine by pin fall and added three by major decision and two more by forfeit.

Historically, Robles is one of 10 Sun Devils that have collected 15 conference wrestler of the year honors, which stands as the most of any team in the league with Oregon State in second with eight total honors. Overall since the Pac-10 began awarding the wrestler and coach of the year awards in 1979 and the addition of the newcomer award in 2000, the Sun Devil program has accumulated 30 total awards (15 coaching honors with 15 wrestler of the year) with OSU’s 16 and Boise States’ nine rounding out the Top 3. BSU moved into third this year after Greg Randall was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year and Jason Chamberlain was named Newcomer of the Year.

Robles also became the first wrestler in the lowest weight class to win the Pac-10 honor since former Sun Devil Gary Bohay won in 1983 while competing at 126 pounds. Outside of Robles and Bohay, the only other wrestler under 141 pounds to win the award was OSU’s Babak Mohammadi (134 pounds) in 1994. Bohay’s honor was the first for the Sun Devil program and since then, Pac-10 Wrestler of the Year honorees have included Eddie Urbano (1985), Adam Cohen (1986), Mike Davies (1987 & 1988), Dan St. John (1989 & 1990), Ray Miller (1992 & 1993), Steve Blackford (2000), Eric Larkin (2001, 2002 & 2003) and Cain Velasquez (2005).