By Jason Bryant
It's a given right? Ben Askren led the nation in falls.
Well, you're partially right.
While Askren piled up 25 falls, the most in Division I, it was two-sport star Charles "Chuck" Robinson from Division II Carson-Newman College in Johnson City, Tenn., that piled up the most falls with 27 across all NCAA divisions in the 2005-06 season.
Robinson, went 31-15 during the season and finished fifth at the UNC Pembroke Open and fourth in the Under-20 Division at the Kaufman/Brand Open at held at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
What's remarkable isn't the 27 of his 31 wins coming by fall, or the fact 26 of his 27 falls came in the first period, with the fastest fall coming 16 seconds over King College's Joel Surber.
The remarkable aspect is that Robinson, a sophomore from Zionsville, Ind., nearly missed both the football and wrestling seasons.
According to Carson-Newman wrestling coach Don Elia, Robinson came in as the center on the Eagles football team and as a freshman, nearly set the school record for falls.
Robinson's 2005-06 season was in doubt after he was hospitalized with what was initially thought to be a heat-related problem with pre-season football workouts.
It can get very hot in Tennessee during the summer.
"At one point, his doctors thought they were going to have to crack his ribcage and scrape his lungs to get rid of the infection," said Elia.
"His parents asked for a second opinion and found that perhaps a scope could achieve the same thing," he said. "So he had surgery in August."
"When he first returned to school, he had lost nearly 40 pounds and could not walk across campus without stopping to catch his breath," Elia said. "He started working out and pushing himself to get better."
Elia credits Robinson's faith.
"Chuck believed that hard work and prayer would help him overcome what he had been through," Elia said.
Elia says that Robinson's a model wrestler and student.
"He always has a big smile on his face and goes out of his way to help others," said Elia. "He has only scratched the surface in what he can do in this sport."
Askren, the recent recipient of the Dan Hodge Award, went 45-0 with 25 falls.
Division III was also represented, with its top pinner, Ursinus' Michael Troutman coming in third nationally with 23 falls.
With 13 of the 21 top pinners, Division III had three of the top five. Troutman's 23 falls was followed by Luther College heavyweight John Miller with 22 falls and Manchester's Jim Sheets with 21.
Josh Glenn of American was the second most prolific pinner in Division I, picking up 21 falls during the season, three of which came during the NCAA championships.
NCAA FALL LEADERS FOR 2005-06
1. Chuck Robinson, 285 (Carson-Newman) 27
2.. Ben Askren, 174 (Missouri) 25
3. Michael Troutman, 184 (Ursinus) 23
4. John Miller, 285 (Luther) 22
5. John Sheets, 133 (Manchester) 21
5. Josh Glenn, 184 (American) 21
7. Gerald Bowne, 165 (York, Pa.) 20
8. Mike Blair, 285 (Trinity) 19
9. James Parke, 285 (Manchester) 18
9. Cole Williams, 165 (Dubuque) 18
9. Ty Klofta, 125 (Ohio Northern) 18
9. Matt Wetterling, 184 (North Dakota State) 18