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After winning the NCAA wrestling championship Saturday in the 125-pound class to cap a perfect senior season, Anthony Robles hopped off the mat and leaped into the arms of Arizona State coach Shawn Charles.
Born without a right leg, the 22-year-old Robles beat defending champion Matt McDonough of Iowa, 7-1, in their final at the Wells Fargo Center.
After finishing fourth in the NCAAs two years ago and seventh last year, Robles went 36-0 as a senior using a mat style all his own.
The match was close by Robles' standards this season. He earned 24 of his victories by technical falls (margins of 15 points or better.).
Just before the start, Robles stood on one leg as he quickly shook the hand of McDonough at the center of the mat. As usual, Robles dropped to one knee at the opening whistle, supporting himself with his hands and arms. The empty right pants leg of his gold Arizona State singlet flapped around as he wrestled.
In the opening period, Robles got a two-point takedown and two points for exposing McDonough's back to the mat. That put him up 4-0. Later in the opening period, he got three more backs points to take a 7-0 lead. McDonough lone point came in the final period. Robles was penalized one point for stalling.
The sellout crowd of 17,099 gave Robles a standing ovation as he stood atop the podium with his crutch.