LAS VEGAS — South Dakota State wrestler Bennett Berge claimed the 86-kilogram freestyle title in the Under-20 Division of the 2023 U.S. Open held over the weekend.
The top-seeded Berge, who was wrestling as a member of the Jackrabbit Wrestling Club, posted a 6-0 record. He recorded shutouts against each of his first four opponents, winning by a combined score of 42-0. The Mantorville, Minnesota, native won by a 9-4 score (VPO1) in his semifinal matchup against Clayton Whiting of the Tiger Style Wrestling Club, then notched a 7-4 (VPO1) victory over Max McEnelly of the Waconia Wrestling Club to win the title.
Berge completed his first collegiate season this spring and finished with an 11-5 record while wrestling mostly in open tournaments.
With his U.S. Open victory, Berge has automatically qualified for the finals of the U20 World Team Trials that are scheduled for June 2-4 in Geneva, Ohio. The World Team Trials finals in June will consist of a best-of-three series, with the winners earning the right to compete at the U20 World Championships in Warsaw, Poland, in August.
Berge has previous international competition experience as he wrestled his way to a silver medal in the 86-kilogram weight class at the 2022 U20 World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.