MADISON – Brock Bergelin could barely see out of his left eye on Saturday night at the Kohl Center.
But the Denmark senior never lost sight of his championship focus.
Competing with massive swelling around his eye, Bergelin won his third straight WIAA state title by winning a 9-0 major decision over Melrose-Mindoro sophomore Julian Purney to claim the Division 2 championship at 120 pounds.
The Central Michigan University recruit is the first three-time champion in Denmark’s history, doubling the program’s state title total from when he entered high school.
“It honestly means the world to me,” Bergelin said. “It’s such a humbling thing to be the first to be a three-timer at my school. All the work I’ve put towards this is finally becoming a reality.”
Bergelin faced the reality of wrestling with some vision impairment after getting knocked in the face during his semifinal win on Friday.
It was the latest bump on what has been his toughest path to a state title.
Bergelin added to his state hardware collection despite overcoming pneumonia and mononucleosis at the start of the year.
“If the swelling didn’t go down,” Bergelin said about the bump around his eye, “I was actually going to get it re-cut open and wrestle with it taped up because it was completely shut after the semifinal match.”
Bergelin entered the state tournament as one of six wrestlers that had already experienced winning multiple state titles.
He finishes his career with a 159-8 record, including 125-3 over the last three years.
His 95.2 winning percentage in his career is a school record for the Vikings, who got a state medal from junior Josh Frerk placing fourth at 285 pounds on Saturday as well.
Bergelin also set school records for pins and wins in his high school career.
“It means everything,” Bergelin said. “When I was a kid I drove to be one of the guys on the board. … You push yourself to be on that board and be that kind of guy that kids look up to.”
Bergelin can stake a claim as being perhaps the best wrestler Denmark has ever produced.
“I’m very proud of him,” Denmark coach Tim Kapinos said. “I’ve enjoyed coaching him for the last four years. He’s done everything that was asked of him and then some. He’s accomplished so much in four years that there is nothing but pride there.”
As he did after his previous two state title wins, Bergelin celebrated by hugging his parents and drinking some FIJI water.
“I had FIJI yesterday and today,” Bergelin said. “Rituals don’t die.”
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