MADISON – The Denmark wrestling team hasn’t crowned a state champion since 1993.
Brock Bergelin is one win away from ending the program’s title drought.
The top-ranked 106-pound sophomore recorded a third-period pin over Grafton’s Arturo Duran on Friday to advance to the WIAA Division 2 state finals at the Kohl Center.
“It feels pretty good to be in the finals, especially dominating my first two matches,” said Bergelin, who also won an 8-0 major decision in the quarterfinals.
“My body feels good, and I think I’m going to be good for (Saturday).”
At right, Oconto Falls’ Dewey Krueger takes down Wisconsin Dells’ Willie Vandenlangenberg in their 152-pound Division 2 semifinal match during the WIAA individual wrestling state tournament Friday at the Kohl Center in Madison. Krueger won the match.Live at 11 a.m.: WIAA individual state wrestling updates
Bergelin’s individual success has been good for the Denmark program.
Bergelin (44-1) and freshman heavyweight Josh Frerk became the team’s first state qualifiers since 2011 this year.
The 106-pound sophomore is the first wrestler the Vikings have had advance to the state finals since Mike Kudick finished as a runner-up at 215 pounds in 2005.
Bergelin, however, has his sights set on being the program’s first champion since Matt Vandenbush won back-to-back titles in 1992 and 1993.
“There is no kid that loves wrestling more than Brock,” Denmark coach Tim Kapinos said.
“I think it’s a big step for our program because we haven’t been here for a while. But I think it’s going to be something that is going to continue on.”
The Denmark football complex is named after Bergelin’s maternal grandfather, Jerry Leiterman.
Although Bergelin played a variety of sports as a kid, he has focused solely on wrestling in high school.
“I did about six sports throughout my youth,” said Bergelin, who has a 78-6 career record. “But now it’s pretty much just wrestling, wrestling, wrestling. … There’s not a day in my life where I’m sitting around and doing nothing.”
Bergelin will face Mosinee’s Josh Ehster for the state championship in a rematch of last week’s sectional championship at Oconto Falls, which Bergelin won with a second-period pin.
“Brock only has one small blemish in an overtime match at 113,” Kapinos said. “But since he’s dropped down to 106, he’s been pretty dominant. He’s primed and ready to go and we’re hoping he can make it happen.”