Anthony Robles, Arizona State's remarkable one-legged wrestler, finished an undefeated senior season by winning the 125-pound class at the NCAA wrestling championships in Philadelphia Saturday night.
Robles, 22, secured the title with a decisive 7-1 victory over defending champion Matt McDonough.
Judy Robles, who cried when her son was born without a right leg on July 20, 1988, jumped out of her seat in joy after the final match of Anthony's college career, a journey that has included three All-American awards and 122 victories capped by a 36-0 record this season.
While the crowd at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center yelled itself hoarse, Robles remained on the mat briefly -- relishing a final feel, perhaps remembering all the sweat he deposited on all the mats along the way -- before being swallowed up in a bear hug by Arizona State coach Shawn Charles.
"I was kind of flooded by emotions," said Robles.
"I didn't want to pop up and start crying. I was in auto mode. I started off last in my city and I ended up winning a national championship. My body's beat up. I'm exhausted. It hasn't really hit me. But I'm happy to finish my career at the top of the podium.
"It's something I'll remember for the rest of my life."
Robles, who has said this would be the conclusion of his wrestling career, got a takedown and a near fall in the first period to take command of his final match. The takedown came the old-fashioned way. The near fall came when he used the "Robles roll," his signature move.
"I just somersault over the guy. It's a move I do a lot," he said.
The thought process was the same one he has wrestled since the beginning of his senior year, when his goal was to win it all after a fourth-place finish in 2009 and a seventh-place finish in 2010.
"I came into every match this season believing I could be a national champion. I started every match the same way, like this was the national championship and the other guy was the other national finalist," Robles said.
"It's been a great ride."
Robles is now planning a career as a motivational speaker.