It took less than six minutes for Penn State fans to realize what kind of wrestler the Nittany Lions have at 133 pounds.
Wrestling in his first match as a Nittany Lion, true freshman Roman Bravo-Young sent a shockwave through Rec Hall, dominating Kent State’s Tim Rooney for two periods before pinning him at the 5:31 mark early in the third.
“I didn’t know what to expect. It was really fun,” Bravo-Young said. “I was a little nervous at first, but once I got going it was fun.”
The freshman from Tucson, Arizona, started the match with a double leg takedown midway through the first period of action to jump in front 2-0. He then sank an arm bar, turning Rooney to the mat for four near-fall points, growing his lead to six before the first period finished.
In the second, Bravo-Young took Rooney to the mat once more, adding a point for a stall from Rooney late in the period to grab a 9-0 lead.
Finally, after coming close in the first period, Bravo-Young finished his afternoon early, putting Rooney on his back for the final time just 31 seconds into the period.
“In the second period, I felt him start to get tired,” Bravo-Young said. “I wasn’t tired. I could’ve kept going.”
Bravo-Young’s pin meant he started his college career in a familiar way, as he finished his undefeated high school career with a perfect 182-0 record in four seasons at Sunnyside High School in Arizona, including four state championships.
Coming into the afternoon, Bravo-Young mentioned that he was prepared to wrestle on the college level but was still adjusting to some of the differences between the high school and college level, like the riding time clock.
Now that his first match in the blue and white has come and gone, he’s happy with the way things started.
“This is what they do at Penn State,” Bravo-Young said, channeling his inner Bo Nickal. “I don’t really get too confident. (I) just have to keep moving forward.”