New York, NY (PressExposure) May 06, 2011 -- Anthony Robles, who overcame the handicap of being born with just one leg to win the NCAA wrestling championship for Arizona State University this past March, was one of seven honorees at the annual "Beat The Streets" Gala held Thursday night at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square. The Gala, which raised in excess of one million dollars for the program, capped an event-filled day that also saw the United States defeat Russia 5-2 in a dual wrestling meet under the bright lights of Times Square, before an estimated crowd of over 20,000 people. Robles was honored as "Beat The Streets" Athlete of the Year because of his inspiring story and the success he has had on the mat.
In addition to Robles, a tandem of high school wrestlers from Staten Island received Male and Female Wrestler of the Year. Vin Fischetti, a senior at Monsignor Farrell High School was named Male Wrestler of the Year after winning The Mayor's Cup and CHSAA state titles and All-American honors, while sophomore Rosemary Flores of Curtis High School was the female wrestler of the year. Flores, who is the captain and only girl on the Curtis team, also captured the Mayor's Cup and a host of state and regional girls wrestling titles this year.
The organization's Atlas Award went to Allen Cornelius, a senior at Hostos Lincoln Academy in The Bronx, who won both the Mayor's Cup and the PSAL's Sportsmanship award this year, while Coach of the Year Awards went to Jean Brutus of Brooklyn Tech (High School), Angel Mercado of Curtis (Assistant) and Tyrone Webb of I.S. 129 in The Bronx (Middle School).
In addition to the award winners, 12 boys and four girls, who hailed from all five boroughs and excelled in wrestling and academics, competed in a series of preliminary matches before the USA-Russia meet in Times Square. Faces in the crowd included no less than 13 Olympic gold medalists, from defending champion Henry Cejudo to legends like Bruce Baumgartner, Dan Gable, Rulon Gardner and Kurt Angle to celebrity supporters like Matthew Modine, Ashton Kutcher and defending UFC champion Rashad Evans.