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Athlete of the Week – Bennett Berge, Kasson-Mantorville Wrestling

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KASSON, Minn. (KTTC) - Kasson-Mantorville's Bennett Berge was seconds away from a section championship when disaster struck -- he got called for stalling with just seconds left on the clock, and then let second-ranked Gavin Nelson of Simley escape to send the match to overtime.

"I basically won the match for that kid," said Berge.

What followed was heartbreak. In the extra period, Nelson took Berge down to earn the sudden victory and end the KoMet's perfect season.

"I just kind of stood there and hanged, and that's the only way that kid is going to take me down," he said.

So Berge returned to the wrestling room re-focused. He wanted to capture his third straight state title and defend his number 1 ranking. In the finals, he met Nelson again. A date with destiny.

"What I was looking forward to was seeing him in the finals," he said.

And this time, Berge would not be denied. The sophomore sensation avenged his section championship loss to become a state champion for the third time.

"I wanted my revenge and that's what I got," said Berge.

Berge finished the year 47-1, but what made him a champion once again was his work in the practice room. Night in and night out, he wrestles against Patrick Kennedy -- the number 1 ranked prep wrestler at 182 pounds.

"If you're in here and you're wrestling against Patrick Kennedy everyday…to score on Patrick Kennedy, you can score on anybody in the country," said KM head coach Jamie Heidt.

Berge now has a chance to win four our five titles.

"Minnesota wrestling is an unbelieveably tough wresetling state and to be able to do it once i a great accomplishment," said Heidt. "To be able to do it two or three tiems is even more of an accomplishment."

But like the mark of any truly great athlete, Berge has his eyes on the next horizon.

"This summer I want to make the world team, the cadet world team," he said. "That's my goal right now and that's what's next."

Bennett Berge of the Kasson-Mantorville wrestling team is this week's KTTC Athlete of the Week.

Mark Poulose

Mark Poulose is a Sports Reporter/Anchor at KTTC.

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