Berlin victorious at 133, named Regional Outstanding Wrestler
For the Gazette
EAU CLAIRE – Senior Matt Berlin (Oak Creek) was named the Upper Midwest Regional Outstanding Wrestler after sweeping his matches to win at 133. He is the lone UW-Stevens Point wrestler to advance to the NCAA Championships.
Berlin opened his day on Saturday with a 4-3 decision win to secure his place at nationals. Then in the title match of the 133 bracket, he capped a 4-0 weekend with an 11-2 major decision.
Luke Smiley (Plainfield, IL) came up just short in the 157 bracket taking fourth. In the semifinal on Saturday, he dropped a 4-2 decision. He then won a 21-10 major decision to reach the third-place match. There, he fell in a 13-4 major decision.
Luca Paladino (Oak Creek) took sixth in the 125 bracket. He won a 7-3 decision to open the day. He was edged in a 5-4 decision and then in the fifth-place match, he was pinned in the second period.
Berlin will travel to Cedar Rapids, Iowa on March 11 to begin the NCAA Championships. It will be his first appearance, but his second time qualifying. In 2020, he entered the NCAA Tournament with a 32-0 record before the championships were canceled at the beginning of the pandemic.