COLUMBUS, Ohio – “Jumping levels” is a common phrase uttered in wrestling circles and it’s undeniable Kaleb Romero has done just that this season. He not only rose literally by bumping up from 165 to 174 pounds for his sophomore campaign, but also elevated his status among the nation’s elite. Romero enters the postseason slotted eighth as a prognosticated All-American in Minneapolis.
A week after coming out on the wrong end of a tiebreaker to Rocky Jordan in the preseason ‘wrestle-offs’ event, Romero offered an emphatic rebuttal at the Michigan State Open. The first varsity competition of the season ended with Romero crowned 174-pound champion in East Lansing, garnering five total wins including three straight against B1G foes to close it out.
The four-time Ohio high school state champion kept the wins coming during the early dual season, highlighted by a 6-5 triumph over All-American and 11th-ranked Brandon Womack of Cornell. His weekend in Vegas began with a top-10 victory over Wyoming’s Hayden Hastings before back-to-back one-point losses.
Romero regrouped quickly, returning to the Covelli Center and capturing decisive wins over No. 8 Anthony Valencia (Arizona State) and No. 19 Joe Grello (Rutgers). His home mat heroics flashed again in taking out No. 16 Joey Gunter (Illinois) and No. 7 Devin Skatzka (Minnesota), avenging an earlier season defeat. In total, Romero carries eight nationally-ranked wins (8-5) into the postseason.
Stay tuned to OhioStateBuckeyes.com for more ‘Postseason Profiles’ as the Big Ten Championships quickly approach (March 7-8).