Penn State senior Roman Bravo-Young earned a spot in Saturday’s NCAA championship match at 133 pounds with two victories Friday, including over rival Austin DeSanto of Iowa, and he will face the same opponent in which he defeated to claim the title last season.
The Sunnyside alum, who is the No. 1 seed, will face No. 2 Daton Fix of Oklahoma State in a battle of unbeaten wrestlers in the event at Detroit. Bravo-Young is 21-0 and Fix is 25-0.
The final day of wrestling Saturday is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tucson time (ESPN will televise the event).
Penn State has five wrestlers, including Bravo-Young, in a championship match. The Nittany Lions lead the team competition with 108 points, followed by Michigan (84.5).
Bravo-Young earned his first NCAA title last year when he beat Fix in sudden-victory in the 133-pound final.
In his two matches Friday in the quarterfinals and semifinals, Bravo-Young beat No. 25 Brian Courtney of Virginia by a 13-6 decision followed by the hard-fought win over DeSanto, the No. 5 seed, by a 3-2 decision.
Bravo-Young and DeSanto battled through a scoreless first two minutes with Bravo-Young fighting off two strong DeSanto scoring efforts. DeSanto chose down to start the second period. Bravo-Young got in on a low single and nearly took DeSanto to his back but the Hawkeye scrambled out of trouble and forced a reset with 45 seconds on the clock.
Trailing 1-0, Bravo-Young chose down to start the third period and worked hard for an escape, getting the point at the 1:14 mark to force a tie. Bravo-Young stalked the mat and struck quickly, using a low single to force a scramble on the outside circle to take DeSanto down. The takedown gave Bravo-Young the 3-2 win.
Bravo-Young has won all 35 of his matches in the last two years.
He was 189-0 in his four-year career at Sunnyside (2015 to 2018) in which he won a state title each year.