Romero wins his second Big 12 Championship for the Wolverines

The Wolverines will send three grapplers to the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships: Demetrius Romero, Taylor LaMont and Ty Smith. (Photo by Hunter Hall)

Utah Valley redshirt senior Demetrius Romero won the Big 12 wrestling championship for the 174-pound weight class. The tournament took place on Saturday and Sunday, March 6-7.

This is Romero’s second Big 12 championship — he previously won in 2019. His second championship came on Sunday after a 6-2 decision over No. 6 seed Jackson Hemauer from Northern Colorado. Romero got off to a strong start after a takedown to take a 2-0 lead. Romero never looked back as he went on to win 6-2 and clinch his Big 12 title. 

On Saturday, Romero went 3-0 winning his matches 12-2, 11-6, and 12-3 in order to advance to the title match. Romero will wrestle in the NCAA Championships that will take place in St. Louis March 18-20. He remained unbeaten on the season with a 16-0 record. 

Redshirt junior Taylor LaMont went 3-0 on Saturday winning his first two matches 11-5 and 7-5 before defeating No. 3 seed Trevor Mastrogiovanni of Oklahoma State.

LaMont finished second in the 125-pound weight class as he lost to No. 1 seed Brody Teske of Northern Iowa in the final round. LaMont got off to a good start as he was able to take a 4-0 lead, but Teske fought back to tie the match 5-5 after the second period. Late in the final period LaMont was able to take a 7-6 lead after a takedown. Teske took down LaMont after a last-second reversal that found LaMont losing the match 9-7. 

After suffering his first loss of the season, LaMont’s recond fell to 9-1. LaMont will join Romero in St. Louis for the NCAA Championships after his second place finish. 

The Wolverines had four other wrestlers place for them, including sophomore Cameron Hunsaker who went 2-2 over the weekend and finished seventh in the 149-pound division, freshman Danny Snediker went 3-2 and finished seventh in the 157-pound division, redshirt freshman Ty Smith went 1-3 and finished eighth in the 133-pound division, and senior Koy Wilkinson went 1-3 and finished eighth in the 165-pound division. 

As a team, the Wolverines finished 10th overall with 55 points as Oklahoma and Oklahoma State tied with 124 points for first to become co-champions.

The NCAA Championships will take place March 18-20, at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis. Following the at-large bids announcement, Smith will join Romero and LaMont in St. Louis. The first session of the Championships will be on Thursday, March 18, at 9 a.m. MT and will be aired on ESPNU.

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