As Ben Kdjar switched from his wrestling singlet into a matching grey sweatsuit, the Utah Valley senior said he was thankful that he had not wrestled his last match. As no one wants to end on a loss.
Arizona State's Anthony Robles, born with one leg, forced Kdjar to wrestle lower to the mat in their 125-pound semifinal match. In turn, this caused Kdjar to be unable to hit his attacking shots and he often found himself unable to return the wrist locks applied by Robles, who won 4-2, sending Kjar to wrestlebacks. Kjar can still win his final match as he returns to the mats later Friday to wrestle for a spot in Saturday’s third-place match.
Still, Kdjar finds himself in the weight class's top 8, which makes him the first All-American in school history.
“To be an All-American is a blessing for me,” said Kdjar.
Kdjar was born with Crouzon syndrome, which caused his facial bones and skull to fuse together and disallow normal bone growth. He has undergone three facial reconstructions.