March 18, 2023

Romero Highlights Session IV With Third Place Finish


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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State senior Kaleb Romero won his final match as a Buckeye in dramatic fashion – a sudden victory win with 1 second remaining – to take third-place and lead the way for his team Saturday morning at the NCAA championships in Tulsa, Okla.

Romero, at 184 and a three-time All-American who competed at four NCAA championships, wrestled seven times at these championships and came away with six victories while earning his highest NCAA finish. He advanced out of the consolation semifinals via a medical forfeit and then defeated No. 2 Trent Hidlay of North Carolina State in dramatic fashion.

Three other 2023 Buckeye All-Americans wrestled Saturday morning.

  • Senior Ethan Smith, competing at his fifth NCAAs and now a three-time All-American, won a major decision to take seventh-place.
  • Junior Dylan D’Emilio, the No. 17 seed at 141, finished eighth after a sudden victory defeat to No. 12 Parker Filius of Purdue. D’Emilio earned his first career All-America honor.
  • And freshman Jesse Mendez, competing at his first NCAA championships at 133, took home sixth place and All-America honors.

Tonight, 149 No. 2 Sammy Sasso will wrestle No. 1 Yianni Diakomihalis for the national title. Sasso was fifth in 2022 and runner-up in 2021. ESPN will carry all of the national championship matches beginning at 7 p.m.

Saturday Session V Results

133 | (14) Jesse Mendez

Consolation Semifinals – Mendez lost a close, 3-2 decision to No. 4 Michael McGee of Arizona State. Mendez fought back from an early, 2-0, deficit with an escape in the first period and another in the second to tie the score at 2-all. McGee won it with an escape at 1:07 of the third period.

5th-Place Match – Mendez takes sixth-place as No. 8 Aaron Nagao of Minnesota won by decision, 4-0. Nagao scored with an escape in the first period, a takedown in the second and the riding point in the third.

141 | (17) Dylan D’Emilio

7th-Place Match – D’Emilio battled back from a 1-0 first period deficit to square the match against No. 12 Parker Filius of Purdue at 4-all in the third behind an escape, a takedown and riding time points. Filius won in sudden victory with an escape and a two-point nearfall.

174 | (6) Ethan Smith

7th-Place Match – Smith wrestled to a seventh-place finish at these NCAAs, winning a major decision over No. 7 Peyton Mocco of Missouri, 12-2. Smith had a takedown in the first period and then dominated the third with an escape, a takedown and a four-point nearfall to extend the lead to 9-2. He then finished the match off with another takedown and riding points.

184 | (6) Kaleb Romero

Consolation Semifinals – Romero advances to the consolation finals and the third-place match due to a medical forfeit by No. 4 Trey Munoz of Oregon State.

3r-Place Match – Romero roars to a third-place finish with a buzzer-beating takedown in sudden victory over No. 2 Trend Hidlay, 3-1. Hidlay scored off an escape in the second period. Romero tied the score at 1-all with an escape at 1:44 of the third. He then won his final match as a Buckeye with a takedown with 0:01 showing on the clock.