Roman Bravo-Young reaches NCAA 133-pound quarterfinals

Roman Bravo-Young is trying to win his third straight NCAA title at 133 pounds (Penn State photo)

Sunnyside High School alum Roman Bravo-Young of Penn State was victorious Thursday in his first two matches of the NCAA wrestling tournament at 133 pounds, setting up a quarterfinal match with Big Ten rival Aaron Nogoa of Minnesota on Friday morning.

Bravo-Young, the No. 1 seed at 133 pounds, defeated No. 33 Ethan Oakley of Appalachian State by major decision (12-3) in the first round and No. 17 Brayden Palmer of Tennessee-Chattanooga by a 5-2 decision in the second round in the event being held at Tulsa, Okla.

Bravo-Young, a two-time defending NCAA champ at 133 pounds, scored the first two takedowns and remained in control in the win over Palmer.

He led 4-2 after one period, working his riding time to over 1:00. He controlled Palmer for the entire second period and led 4-2 with 2:36 in riding time after two. After a neutral start in the third, Bravo-Young finished the bout on his feet and rolled into the quarterfinals with a 5-2 win.

In the win over Oakley, Bravo-Young built up riding time and then added a second takedown to lead 4-1 after one. He added an escape and a takedown to lead 7-1 after two periods and rolled through the third period with two takedowns. He added over 4:00 in riding time to post the 12-3 major decision.

The top-seeded Bravo-Young is 18-0 this season and is on a 54-match winning streak. He is 98-19 in his five-year Penn State career.

Bravo-Young earned his third consecutive Big Ten title two weeks ago when he beat Nagao by a 5-2 decision. Nagao is the No. 8 seed in the NCAA bracket.

After contemplating ending his college career after last season to concentrate on training, Bravo-Young returned to Penn State this year to try for his third consecutive national title at 133 pounds.

He is nearing the end of his illustrious five-year Penn State career, prolonged because of an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19 restrictions in 2019-20.

Asked in a press conference what it means to potentially win a third title, he said, “It means a lot to me.”

“I take a lot of pride in it but it’s just a stepping stone,” he added. “I’m trying to make the (U.S.) freestyle world team, too. Just grateful, not really sweating it. Whatever happens, happens and keep going forward. I’ve got bigger things on my mind, too.”

Bravo-Young is the top wrestler to come through Sunnyside’s storied program, going 189-0 while winning four state titles from 2014-18.

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