Berge earns silver at U20 World Championships

SOFIA, Bulgaria — Incoming South Dakota State wrestler Bennett Berge earned a silver medal in the 86-kilogram weight class Wednesday at the 2022 U20 World Championships.

A native of Mantorville, Minnesota, and a member of the Pinnacle Wrestling Club, Berge posted a 4-1 record over two days of competition. He won his first three matches all by technical fall Tuesday, outscoring his opponents by a 32-2 margin. In Tuesday night’s semifinals, Berge recorded a come-from-behind, 9-7 victory over Ismail Kucuksolak of Turkey.

In Wednesday’s championship bout against Rakhim Magamadov of France, Berge lost a 10-5 decision.

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Volk Wins U20 World Title

Sofia, Bulgaria — Cowboy Wrestling True Freshman Jore Volk will be bringing some hardware back to the United States after a great performance at 57kg at the U20 Freestyle World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. Volk will head back to Laramie as the U20 Freestyle Champion posting a perfect 4-0 on his way to capturing the world title.

“Every match I wrestled I went out there and believed I was the better wrestler no matter who my opponent was. I trusted my skills and training and believed in myself to get the job done,” Volk said “Coming home as a world champion is a dream come true. It still doesn’t even seem real.”

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Men’s freestyle ends U20 Worlds with four medals and second-place team finish

Kasson-Mantorville’s Bennett Berge earns a World Silver Medal

SOFIA, Bulgaria – Team USA wrapped up its men’s freestyle competition at the U20 World Championships with four medals and a second-place team finish on Wednesday in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Medalists for the Red, White and Blue were champions Jore Volk (57 kg) and Ben Kueter (97 kg) and silver medalists Mitchell Mesenbrink (70 kg) and Bennett Berge (86 kg).

The U.S. scored 132 team points behind team champions Iran with 159 points. India finished third with 112 points.

Tonight, Team USA fell in all three of its medal matches today.

In an impressive international debut, Bennett Berge earned a silver medal at 86 kg, falling to 2021 U20 World silver medalist Rakhim Magamadov from France. The American led 4-1 at the break, but Magamadov put together a strong comeback bid, which included a four-point takedown near the edge for an eventual 10-5 win over Berge. Continue reading at →

Jakob Bergeland: Not an Underdog Story

Everyone likes an underdog right? The Rocky movies, Cool Runnings, The Replacements, Invincible, Major League. Great stories with fun characters all resting on the belief that you can reach your goals even if the odds are stacked against you. Going into this interview, that was how I viewed the season that Jake Bergeland had for the Golden Gophers last year. It had all the ingredients for an underdog story. His first year in the lineup for Minnesota, had some injuries that prevented him from starting in previous years, as well as just being behind some really talented wrestlers. Those trials and tribulations, in my mind and in the minds of many others, meant that Jakob Bergeland was a great underdog story. However, that’s not how the story went for Jake. That’s not how he pictures himself. Jake, like many college wrestlers, viewed his path into the lineup as a tough, but necessary road. The hurdles and struggles along the way only made him stronger and helped develop him into the guy who felt ready to get onto the podium as soon as he had his chance. He knew that he would get there eventually, but those first couple of years made him into the wrestler that he is now.

He was 22-11 in his first year in college, while redshirting. He felt ready to have that impact after that season. Most guys have a lot of growth in their first year, but there was a lot of excitement after that year. Unfortunately, he was still behind Steve Bleise who had transferred in, and had been a bloodround wrestler, as well as Tommy Thorn bumping up to 149, making it exceedingly difficult to get that first chance. Pair that with an injury, and guys like Brayton Lee and Michael Blockhus coming to Minnesota and into the 149 weight class as well. Once recovered, there was still a lot of talent in the Golden Gophers room keeping Jake from having his chance. Continue reading at →

Kueter pins, Volk impresses for U20 World gold in Bulgaria

SOFIA, Bulgaria – The USA earned three medals on Tuesday at the U20 World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, including golds from Jore Volk and Ben Kueter and silver from Mitchell Mesenbrink.

Jore Volk completed an impressive run at the U20 World Championships with 3-2 win over 2022 U20 Asian champion Merey Bazarbayev of Kazakhstan in the 57 kg finals. Volk scored all his points in the first period, collecting a step out and a takedown for a 3-0 lead at the break. Bazarbayev was awarded a point on the passivity clock and a singlet pull, but it wasn’t enough and Volk secured the belt to give the U.S. a great start to the night. Continue reading at →