Thoroughly dominant from first match to last, senior Abner Romero of Lindenwood University (MO) claimed the 174 lb. individual title at the NCAA Division 2 Championships. The event was held in St. Louis, MO with 132 wrestlers from 38 teams in the field. Lindenwood finished in 3rd place while St. Cloud State won its third consecutive team title.
Romero justified his #1 seed by outscoring his competition by a combined 44-4. He opened with a 13-0 win over two-time national qualifier Noah Curreri (Queens) and followed with a 16-2 romp over #8 Caleb Spears (Newberry) in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Romero continued his impressive run by blanking #5 Daniel Beemer (Ashland) 7-0. The final match-up was unique – the only #1 vs. #2 showdown of the Championships. However, the outcome was never in doubt has Romero controlled the match from opening whistle, claiming an 8-2 decision over #2 Trevor Turiff of Minnesota State-Mankato. Four up, four very much down – Romero finishes the season with a 12-0 record and adds a very well-earned national title to his trophy case.
Romero graduated from Buchanan HS (Central) in 2016, where he was a 3-time state medalist. He finished 8th CA (152) as a sophomore, 7th CA (152) as a junior, and was a state finalist during his senior year at 160 pounds. To his credit that final season, Romero rebounded from state heartbreak to impressively win the 2016 NHSCA Senior Nationals crown at 170 pounds. He started his college career at Old Dominion (NCAA Division 1), posting a 29-10 record as a redshirt, before transferring to Fresno City College – there, Romero won the 2018 California Community College (CCCAA) title at 174 pounds.