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Romero brothers' good fortunes on wrestling mats continue

What a year it's been for Issac and Steven Romero. The two brothers were part of the magical season the Sunnyside High School wrestling team experienced this year and have continued to dominate in national events since the prep season ended in February.

Isaac Romero (112 lbs.) earned a State title in the 3A division this year. After a storied career at Sunnyside High School that saw him earn the most victories in the school's history, he added the State title that had eluded him for the previous three years.

During this year's spring break from school he traveled to Virginia to participate in Senior Nationals. To be invited to this event each participant had to have made it to the final of their state tournament.

Out of 32 wrestlers in the 112-lb. bracket, Romero earned a fourth place finish.

"This is a pretty prestigious event," his high school wrestling coach, George Paulus, said.

Romero made it to the semi-finals where he lost to the number two ranked wrestler in the nation.

At the end of his spring break Romero participated in the Cliff Keen Reno World Championships. There he won the event and added more hardware to his already full trophy case.

"It was a pretty tough tournament," he said. "The first match was the toughest. I wasn't prepared for it. I got through it though and breezed through the rest. That first match is always a killer."

Two weeks after the tournament in Reno, Nev., Romero traveled to Las Vegas to wrestle in the Western Jr. Regional Championships. He wrestled greco style there and finished sixth at the tourney. He was unable to wrestle in the freestyle events due to an injury.

Romero, who will graduate this month, has earned a full-ride to Dickinson State University in North Dakota. There, he will reunite with friend and former teammate, two-time State champion Steve Sanchez.

He plans on wrestling at the NAIA level for a couple of years and then wants to move up to Division I, where he has his eyes on Oregon State University.

"From the beginning of this season I knew it was going to be my last high school season," he said. "I went out as hard as I could."

His younger brother, Steven, also has had a great year. The Sunnyside junior won his first State title this year in the 103-lb. division. In Virginia at Junior Nationals he took third place in a tough, almost full, 64-man bracket.

"It was tough," he admitted.

The younger Romero brother lost in the semi-finals at the event and then had to win a match to get into the third/fourth place match. There, he beat his opponent 2-1.

At the Reno tournament he placed second, losing in the finals to a teen from California.

"I knew the finals were going to be tough," Romero said of the Reno tournament. "My opponent had won it all last year."

At the Las Vegas tournament two weeks later the younger Romero finished second in greco style and then fifth in the FILA Jr. event. This event is for wrestlers 16 to 21-years-old.

Steven Romero plans on moving up a weight next year to 112 lbs. and admits he would like to add another State title.

The Romeros have much to look forward to. Their younger brother, freshman Josh Romero, was a state tourney participant this year, as was the Romeros' friend and house guest, Christian Reyes.

Both traveled to the tournaments in Nevada, but neither trophied.

Next week both the older Romeros and Reyes will participate in the Washington State Freestyle Championships in Sedro Wooley. The top three wrestlers in each weight class will advance to Nationals in Fargo, N.D. this July.

"It's significant when they do well at these events," Paulus said. "They're getting competition from all over the U.S. and getting national exposure."

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