Tyler Berger Wins Us Open!

Published May 1st, 2023 by PRTC Wrestling

Las Vegas, NV – In a come-from-behind victory, Tyler Berger won the 70kg US National Championship last Friday evening at the prestigious and highly competitive US Open. This is the first National title for Berger as he has qualified to battle for the World Team spot at 70kg. He’ll compete against world medalist Zain Retherford at Final X in Newark, New Jersey on June 10th in the Prudential Center. If he wins the best of three series, Berger will represent Team USA at the World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia this Fall.

In the final match, Berger defeated Sammy Sasso of the Ohio Regional Training Center with just eight seconds left on the clock. He was down by one point and utilized some recently learned skills to score a takedown as time ran out.

“We train this. We literally train this!” said Berger of the drill his coach, Olympic Gold Medalist Brandon Slay, instituted into the team’s training plan. “Seven second goes, you’re down by one, go figure it out.” The crowd at South Point Hotel and Conference Center went wild as the Oregon native and current resident of Philadelphia scored the deciding points.

The PRTC was well represented at this year’s US Open. In addition to Berger, senior resident athletes Joey McKenna (65kg), David McFadden (79kg), and Mark Hall (86kg) all competed in Las Vegas. McKenna won a silver medal while McFadden and Hall each won a bronze medal. All three will be competing at Final X for a spot on the national team.

The top three competitors at each weight make the US National Team. The final spots are determined by a wrestle-off to find the true placings at each weight if the competitors did not wrestle each other at the US Open. McKenna will wrestle Matt Kolodzik, McFadden will wrestle Alex Dieringer, and Hall will wrestle Zahid Valencia.

World Champion Jordan Burroughs will look to secure his spot on the World Team at Final X as well. He will wrestle US Open Champion Chance Marstellar at 79kg. This will be a rematch of last year’s Final X where Burroughs won two matches to one and went on to win a record breaking 7th World/Olympic medal in Serbia.

Also competing at the Senior level in Las Vegas for the PRTC were four University of Pennsylvania underclassmen. Ryan Miller (57kg), Michael Colaiocco (65kg), CJ Composto (65kg), and Maximus Hale (86kg) all stepped up to take on the challenge of competing at the national level against some of the best athletes in the country. Hale finished in the top eight gaining All-American Status.

Drexel Assistant Coach CJ LaFragola competed as well. He battled to an impressive 3-2 record for the weekend just missing the medal round. LaFragola, a three time NCAA qualifier, is undefeated as an MMA fighter yet he continues to enter high level wrestling tournaments to hone his skills.

Michael Boykin, a graduate of NC State, has been training with the PRTC. He made the trip west with the team and competed at 92kg. Boykin, who has been a welcome addition to the room, routinely works out with the Penn and Drexel upper-weights as well as training with Mark Hall.

Here are the full US Open results for the PRTC Senior Level athletes:

57kg Ryan Miller, 1-2

WIN Fischer (Wolves), 12-0

LOSS Glory (NJRTC), 10-0

LOSS McGowant (Blairstown), (7-5)

61kg Michael Colaiocco, 1-2

LOSS Shriever (Iowa), 11-5

WIN Kuketz (SERTC), 10-0

LOSS Valencia (CART), 14-4

65kg CJ Composto, 2-2

WIN Cooley (Missouri), 10-0

WIN Gold (New York), 10-0

LOSS Henderson (LVWC), 16-6

LOSS Madrigal (Oklahoma) 13-3

65kg Joey McKenna, Silver Medalist 4-2

WIN Koderhandt (Navy), 10-0

WIN Pfanz (Mustang), 10-0

WIN Aschnault (NYCRTC), 10-0

WIN Lovett (SKWC), 8-3

LOSS Lee (NLWC), 10-5

70kg Tyler Berger, Champion 5-0

WIN Monseratt (NERTC), 12-2

WIN Flores (TMWC), 10-0

WIN Verkleeren (Cavalier), 12-1

WIN Hidlay (Wolfpack), 11-0

WIN Sasso (ORTC), 10-9

79kg David McFadden, Bronze Medalist 5-1

WIN Torres (Arizona), 10-0

WIN White (Indiana), 7-2

WIN Marinelli (HWC), 10-6

LOSS Marstellar (NYCRTC), 6-1

WIN Kemerer (Spartan RTC), 11-9

WIN Marinelli (HWC), 10-0

86kg Mark Hall, Bronze Medalist 5-1

WIN Tarantino (NERTC), FALL

WIN Verhaege (Kansas), 10-0

WIN Marcelli (Cavalier), 10-0

LOSS Brooks (NLWC), 6-1

WIN Morgan (Spartan RTC), 8-2

WIN Hidlay (Wolfpack), 13-2

86kg Maximus Hale, 8th Place 3-3

WIN Lords (Viking), 10-0

WIN Harman (Tiger), 5-5 criteria

LOSS Valencia (SKWC), 7-2

WIN Jessen (Wildcat), 11-0

LOSS Morgan (Spartan RTC), 11-7

LOSS Webster (Gopher), 4-0

86kg CJ LaFragola, 3-2

LOSS Verhaeghe (Kansas), 7-3

WIN Danals (Cavalier), 14-4

WIN Morgan (Gopher WC), 10-0

WIN Squires (New Jersey), 13-7

LOSS Stewart (Cavalier), 7-2

92kg Michael Boykin, 1-2

LOSS Stemmet (Illinois), 10-6

WIN Filsaime (SERTC), 11-0

LOSS Haas (CRTC), 12-2

Pictures by Tony Rotundo and Eleni Glynos

Story by Kevin McGuigan

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