Penn State senior Roman Bravo-Young, the Sunnyside wrestling great in search of his second consecutive national title at 133 pounds, started victoriously in the NCAA wrestling tournament at Detroit on Thursday.
Bravo-Young, the No. 1 seed, defeated No. 32 Dominic LaJoie of Cornell by major decision (16-4) in a first-round match and won by fall in 4:45 against Navy’s Josh Koderhandt, the No. 16 seed, in the second round.
Bravo-Young (19-0) will next face No. 25 seed Brian Courtney (15-6) of Virginia in a quarterfinal round match Friday morning. Courtney upset eighth-seeded RayVon Foley of Michigan State in the opening round with a 4-2 decision before rallying to take an 8-7 decision over ninth-seeded Michael Colaiocco of Penn in the second round.
Bravo-Young took a 4-0 lead after one period with a takedown and nearfall points against Koderhandt. In the second period, he used his top game late in the period, putting Koderhandt on his back and picked up the fall in 4:45.
In the first-round match against LaJoie, Bravo-Young had three takedowns to lead 6-2. He had a reversal in the second period, and LaJoie gave up a stalling point, to make it 9-2 after two periods. Bravo-Young added three more takedowns in the third period, and added riding time for the 16-4 win.
Bravo-Young is 77-9 in his Penn State career, including 33-0 in the last two years.
He went 182-0 in his four-year career at Sunnyside from 2014-18 which included four state championships.
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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. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.