The impact of Roman Bravo-Young’s national championship at 133 pounds with Penn State on March 20 extends beyond the storied Nittany Lion wrestling program.
The championship, Bravo-Young’s first and Penn State’s first at that weight class, enhances his image with Tucson’s youth, especially those on the southside where he was raised.
“Everything since I was a little kid, the ups and downs and the struggles, people don’t see — I’m just a kid from Tucson,” Bravo-Young said. “People don’t see that especially on the East coast. I’m representing more than myself.”
The achievement of the Sunnyside great merits him the Jet Sports Training March Male Athlete of the Month. While in Tucson, Bravo-Young works out at Jet Sports Training, on the southside owned by fellow Sunnyside grad Bobby Rodriguez.
Bravo-Young’s title match with Oklahoma State’s Daton Fix reached overtime tied at 2 with him scoring his two points on an escape and his riding time. Fix’s two points came on two questionable stalling calls against Bravo-Young.
Bravo-Young’s quick takedown turning Fix by the ankles just a few seconds into overtime gave him the national title with a 4-2 win.
“It was a surreal moment, it was like, ‘Wow, I did it,’” he said. “Everybody wants to be an NCAA champ. When you’re wrestling, you want to be an NCAA champ. I was like, ‘Wow, I finally did that.’ That was a goal I’ve always wanted.
“I’ve watched NCAA championship videos every single day since I was in middle school. I was like, ‘I wish I could be there one day.’ And then corona (COVID-19) takes it away in my second year (last season). I had another chance to win it. It’s a lot. I was like, ‘Wow, I finally did it.’ It was like relief a little bit.”
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.