Mesenbrink triumphs, Bouzakis and Berge bag bronze, freestyle takes second at U20 Worlds

by Richard Immel, USA Wrestling

Mitchell Mesenbrink after winning the 2023 U20 World title at 74 kg. (Photo by Richard Immel - USA Wrestling)

AMMAN, JORDAN – It’s remarkable how things can change in one year. For Hartland, Wisconsin, native Mitchell Mesenbrink, that change means more than one step up on the U20 World podium, upgrading from silver to gold. It’s centered around constant evolution on his path to becoming the best wrestler possible.

The happenings on Wednesday evening at Princess Sumaya Lounge proved to be a validating notch on this path for Mesenbrink. He turned what was a two-point squeaker last year into a 16-5 technical fall against fiery Iranian Hossein Mohammad Aghaei. There were cinema-esque action sequences throughout the 74 kg final, the bulk of which stemmed from a Mesenbrink attack. The golden finish to his tournament was simply inevitable.

No competitor outshined Mesenbrink in Amman this week as he won all five of his bouts by technical fall and tossed up a whopping 59 points on the scoreboard in the process. With his second World medal in tow, the 20-year-old phenom is set to take his skills to NCAA powerhouse Penn State University for the upcoming season.

Joining Mesenbrink on the podium for the second-straight year was Minnesota bred Bennett Berge. He rebounded nicely from a disheartening defeat in last night’s semifinals and blasted North Macedonia’s Shakjir Bislimi, 11-0, for the 86 kg bronze medal.

Berge remained stoic as ever following his match on Thursday. He too mentioned aspirations of becoming one of the World’s best and is admittedly jacked to enter a resurgent South Dakota State lineup during the NCAA season this fall.

Ohio State’s young buck Nic Bouzakis was able to get over the medal hump in his third attempt at the U20 World Championships but expressed a sense of hollowness after his quick, 11-1, technical fall over Besir Alilion of North Macedonia.

Bouzakis expects to enter the starting lineup for the Buckeyes this fall and become an immediate title threat. His only loss in Amman came by a single point to the eventual champion at 61 kg—a sting he won’t soon forget as the college season approaches.

The U.S. men’s freestyle team rounded out its business venture to Amman with two gold medalists, two runners-up and four bronze medalists, setting the American record for total medals won at this event in its modern era. The previous record was held by the 2017 team that included names like Gable Steveson, Zahid Valencia, Mark Hall and Daton Fix, among others. Even with this outstanding effort, the U.S. group fell 13 points shy of the team title to Iran.

The U20 World Championships continue at 10 a.m. local time on Thurs. with a full boat of women’s freestyle. Amman, Jordan, is in the GMT +3 time zone, which is seven hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Time.

Those in the U.S. can watch all the action live on Brackets and updated results will be provided by United World Wrestling on and the UWW mobile app.

2023 U20 World Championships

At Amman, Jordan, August 14-20

Men’s Freestyle Team Standings

1. Iran, 165

2. United States, 152

3. India, 102

4. Japan, 63

5. Turkey, 61

6. Kazakhstan, 56

7. Georgia, 54

8. Armenia, 53

9. Azerbaijan, 45

10. Ukraine, 44

Men’s Freestyle Group Two (61-74-86-92-125 kg) Results

61 kg

Gold – Kumar Mohit (India)

Silver – Eldar Akhmadudinov (Individual Neutral Athlete)

Bronze – Ali Khorramdel (Iran)

Bronze – Nic Bouzakis (United States)

5th – Tamazi Sulamanidze (Georgia)

5th – Besir Alili (North Macedonia)

7th – Rin Sakamoto (Japan)

8th – Levik Mikayelyan (Armenia)

9th – Abdinur Nurlanbek (Kazakhstan)

10th – Dmitri Carastoianov (Moldova)

Gold – Kumar Mohit (India) dec. Eldar Akhmadudinov (Individual Neutral Athlete), 9-8

Bronze – Ali Khorramdel (Iran) tech. fall Tamazi Sulamanidze (Georgia), 10-0

Bronze – Nic Bouzakis (United States) tech. fall, 11-0

​74 kg

Gold – Mitchell Mesenbrink (United States)

Silver – Hossein Mohammad Aghaei (Iran)

Bronze – Giorgi Gogritchiani (Georgia)

Bronze – Jaideep Jaideep (India)

5th – Anton Suchkov (Individual Neutral Athlete)

5th – Zhakshylyk Baitashov (Kyrgyzstan)

7th – Yerkhan Bexultanov (Kazakhstan)

8th – Ivan Stoyanov (Bulgaria)

9th – Stas Wolf (Germany)

10th – Orts Isakov (Jordan)

Gold – Mitchell Mesenbrink (United States) tech. fall Hossein Mohammad Aghaei (Iran), 16-5

Bronze – Giorgi Gogritchiani (Georgia) dec. Anton Suchkov (Individual Neutral Athlete), 3-2

Bronze – Jaideep Jaideep (India) fall Zhakshylyk Baitashov (Kyrgyzstan), 2:06

86 kg

Gold – Rakhim Magamadov (France)

Silver – Fumiya Igarashi (Japan)

Bronze – Bennett Berge (United States)

Bronze – Eugeniu Mihalcean (Moldova)

5th – Shakjir Bislimi (North Macedonia)

5th – Mushegh Mkrtchyan (Armenia)

7th – Orazmuhammet Hojalyyev (Turkmenistan)

8th – Slavi Stamenov (Bulgaria)

9th – Noah Schwaller (Switzerland)

10th – Mukul Dahiya (India)

Gold – Rakhim Magamadov (France) dec. Fumiya Igarashi (Japan), 6-4

Bronze – Bennett Berge (United States) tech. fall Shakjir Bislimi (North Macedonia), 11-0

Bronze – Eugeniu Mihalcean (Moldova) dec. Mushegh Mkrtchyan (Armenia), 3-0

92 kg

Gold – Mohammadmobin Azimi (Iran)

Silver – Rizabek Aitmukhan (Kazakhstan)

Bronze – Giorgi Romelashvili (Georgia)

Bronze – Mustafagadzhi Malachdibirov (Individual Neutral Athlete)

5th – Nurbolot Adyl Uulu (Kyrgyzstan)

5th – Knyaz Iboyan (Armenia)

7th – Ravan Musayev (Azerbaijan)

8th – Muhammed Gimri (Turkey)

9th – Samuel Pereira (Canada)

10th – Daniel Fischer (Germany)

Gold – Mohammadmobin Azimi (Iran) dec. Rizabek Aitmukhan (Kazakhstan), 5-1

Bronze – Giorgi Romelashvili (Georgia) dec. Nurbolot Adyl Uulu (Kyrgyzstan), 8-1

Bronze – Mustafagadzhi Malachdibirov (Individual Neutral Athlete) tech. fall Knyaz Iboyan (Armenia), 11-0

125 kg

Gold – Amirreza Masoumi Valadi (Iran)

Silver – Said Akhmatov (Individual Neutral Athlete)

Bronze – Hakan Buyukcingil (Turkey)

Bronze – Rajat Ruhal (India)

5th – Volodymyr Kochanov (Ukraine)

5th – Karanveer Mahil (Canada)

7th – Yusif Dursunov (Azerbaijan)

8th – Levan Lagvilava (France)

9th – Marlen Kurlysbek (Kazakhstan)

10th – Christian Carroll (United States)

Gold – Amirreza Masoumi Valadi (Iran) tech. fall Said Akhmatov (Individual Neutral Athlete), 11-0

Bronze – Hakan Buyukcingil (Turkey) tech. fall Volodymyr Kochanov (Ukraine), 11-1

Bronze – Rajat Ruhal (India) dec. Karanveer Mahil (Canada), 9-8

U.S. Men’s Freestyle Group Two (61-74-86-92-125 kg) Results

61 kg – Nic Bouzakis (Dallas, Pennsylvania/X-Calibur Athletics WC/Ohio RTC), bronze medal

WIN Shehabeldin Mohamed (Egypt), 4-2

WIN Yahor Rudauski (Individual Neutral Athlete), 9-6

LOSS Kumar Mohit (India), 12-11

WIN Dmitri Carastoianov (Moldova), tech. fall, 10-0

WIN Besir Alili (North Macedonia), tech. fall, 11-1

74 kg – Mitchell Mesenbrink (Hartland, Wisconsin/Askren Wrestling Academy), gold medal

WIN Ion Marcu (Moldova), tech. fall, 10-0

WIN Elkhan Garayev (Azerbaijan), tech. fall, 12-1

WIN Jaideep Jaideep (India), tech. fall, 11-0

WIN Zhakshylyk Baitashov (Kyrgyzstan), tech. fall, 10-0

WIN Hossein Mohammad Aghaei (Iran), tech. fall, 16-5

86 kg – Bennett Berge (Mantorville, Minnesota/Jackrabbit WC), bronze medal

WIN Ivan Chornohuz (Ukraine), 9-5

WIN Slavi Stamenov (Bulgaria), tech. fall, 11-0

LOSS Rakhim Magamadov (France), 9-2

WIN Shakjir Bislimi (North Macedonia), tech. fall, 11-0

92 kg – Jack Darrah (Washington, Missouri/California RTC), 12th

LOSS Giorgi Romelashvili (Georgia), 4-3

125 kg – Christian Carroll (Stillwater, Oklahoma/Cowboy RTC), 10th

WIN Ksawery Kaminski (Poland), tech. fall, 14-2

LOSS Amirreza Masoumi Valadi (Iran), tech. fall, 10-0

LOSS Hakan Buyukcingil (Turkey), fall, 4:44