Tyler Berger named USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week
by Richard Immel
Tyler Berger (Philadelphia, Pa./Sunkist Kids WC/Pennsylvania RTC) has been named USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week on November 8, 2023.
The U.S. National Team member stepped up to represent Team USA at the esteemed Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile. Berger went 3-0 on his way to the 74 kg men’s freestyle gold medal—one-of-seven American wrestlers to collect gold over the course of the four-day event.
His impressive Pan American Games hit list included wins over Anthony Montero Chirinos of Venezuela, Anthony Valencia of Mexico and Franklin Maren Castillo of Cuba. Montero Chirinos is a multiple-time Pan American Championships medalist, finishing as high as first place in 2016. Valencia is a past NCAA All American and four-time Pac-12 champion for Arizona State. Maren Castillo won a World bronze medal in 2018 and owns two Pan American titles.
The most competitive men’s freestyle final of the event came between Berger and Maren Castillo. The critical point in the contest came at the end of the first period as Berger fought through for the only takedown of the match with 10 seconds remaining in the opening frame. He finished things off with a 3-0 decision to complete a perfect, four-for-four gold medal sweep for the U.S. on the opening day of competition in Chile.
Winning Pan American Games titles on the same day as Berger were U.S. World Team member Zane Richards, nine-time Olympic and World medalist Kyle Snyder and World bronze medalist Mason Parris. Nahshon Garrett and Mark Hall tacked on a pair of silver medals the following evening to give the U.S. representation on the medal stand in every men’s freestyle weight class at the event.
The medal win in Santiago added to an already banner season for Berger on the Senior level. He earned his first U.S. Open title and was runner-up at Final X earlier this year. In addition, Berger scored a silver medal at the 2022 D.A. Kunaev Tournament in Taraz, Kazakhstan, which took place last November.
Berger was a three-time NCAA All American for the University of Nebraska, making a finals appearance in 2019. He joined the University of Pennsylvania staff as Assistant Coach in September.
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Tyler Berger in action at the 2023 Pan American Games