The disappointment hung heavy in Peyton Robb's voice as we spoke Thursday afternoon, shortly after the NCAA announced the cancellation of the national wrestling tournament set for US Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. The elimination of that event along with all other NCAA winter and spring sports tournaments is part of the effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

While he understands the decision, the red-shirt freshman is still disappointed, "It's terrible. It's a bummer, but it's in the best interest of the athletes, to keep them safe." It's even more of a letdown for the seniors, "I gave them a hug. Hopefully the NCAA can do something for them by the end of this."

Robb is a 2018 graduate of Owatonna High School and is a three-time state high school individual champ. He also was a state runner-up once and compiled a 155-6 overall prep mark. Hear his full interview with KRFO radio by clicking on his name below.

Despite his record-setting success at the high school level, it was still a big jump to compete at the Division I level, "Honestly, at first it was pretty tough. After the first little bit, how was I going to get through five years of this. But then as you get through more practices and get into transition from high school to college, I wouldn't say practices get easier, but you get more accustomed to them."

Robb wrestled unattached during his red shirt season in 2018-29 compiling a 22-3 record. He was 20-6 this season when the national tournament was cancelled. Robb finished third at 157 pounds at the Big Ten tournament after entering as the seventh seed. He went 4-1 at the conference event.

"The goal is always to win the conference tournament but I'd say I performed well. I beat a guy that I lost to earlier in the season. I felt good with my performance. There's a few tweaks that I could do, made just a couple of mistakes that I have to work on, but overall I felt I made good progress throughout the year."

He credits the coaches for his improvements, "A big part is coach Brian Snyder and coach Tyler Berger. They are partners and coaches of mine."

Robb wasn't sure what was next in the training process when we spoke, as the team was about to hold a meeting in the wake of the NCAA's announcement, "I'm not quite sure. That's on the coaches, how much of a break they want to give us. They tell me what to do and I'll do it."

It's been a great experience so far, "Definitely enjoying it. The big part is the family aspect. It's just like one big family." Robb has adjusted to college life well, "I've never been a house cat, you could say. Even in high school I was always out of the house. I live with five other guys in my class that are on the wrestling team. It's like having another family right there."

Peyton's brother Cael, a freshman with OHS made his Minnesota state tournament debut this winter, with the team and as an individual, finishing in fourth place. Robb watched him online and gave him some advice over the phone. "I can see a lot of the moves that I do or did in his set of moves. He mimics me in a lot of areas. So that's kind of cool." Peyton says Cael has a different body type so has developed his own style to suit that, "So there is a little mix of those, some of my technique and his own."



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