Thorn starts after strong redshirt year

The wrestler had a record of 32-5 last season competing in all open matches.

Tommy Thorn contends against Air Force wrestler David Walker in the 141-pound weight class matchup at the Sports Pavilion on Nov. 21.

Liam James Doyle, Daily File Photo

Tommy Thorn contends against Air Force wrestler David Walker in the 141-pound weight class matchup at the Sports Pavilion on Nov. 21.

Jack White

Minnesota returned only five starters from last season, leaving plenty of openings for younger wrestlers like redshirt freshman Tommy Thorn.
 
Thorn earned the starting position at 141 pounds and is currently ranked No. 9 in the country. He is 10-3 overall and 5-3 in dual meets so far this season, including a major decision in his first dual as a starter in September.
 
“His performance is going [well],” head coach J Robinson said. “He wrestled really [well] against Oklahoma State [last weekend]. He almost rode the kid the entire time.”
 
Thorn came out of St. Michael-Albertville High School as Mr. Minnesota Wrestler of the Year and as a four-time state champion. He posted a perfect 49-0 record his senior year.
 
He was forced to wait for playing time in college, though, redshirting his freshman year and only competing in open tournaments.
 
Thorn was still able to lead all Minnesota wrestlers in victories with a 32-5 record in open tournaments, earning 10 major decisions and two technical falls.
 
The St. Michael, Minn., native was the fourth member in his immediate family to wrestle collegiately. His father John was an All-American wrestler at Iowa State, while his older brothers Mike and David were both All-Americans for the Gophers.
 
His two older brothers were able to help mentor Tommy Thorn as he wrestled growing up.
 
“They’re really helpful, both of my brothers,” Thorn said. “After every match, they’ll give me a text or a call and tell me what I did [well].”
 
Tommy Thorn was also able to train with David over the summer to prepare for the upcoming season in a wrestling camp his older brother hosted. 
 
“It’s a really technical camp,” Thorn said. “So I got to do a lot moves over and over and over again, which helps you perfect your technique. You also get to wrestle against high school guys to work on moves you aren’t so good on.”
 
Thorn is 1-3 against ranked opponents this season and undefeated in the rest of his matches. He was able to earn an upset in the team’s third dual meet of the season, defeating then-No. 10 Randy Cruz of Lehigh University. 
 
Thorn lost to No. 1 Dean Heil at 141 pounds in the team’s most recent dual against Oklahoma State. He and redshirt freshman Brandon Krone both wrestled the No. 1-ranked wrestlers in their weight classes.
 
“It definitely shows you where you’re at, very humbling,” Krone said. “There’s nothing compared to it.”
 
Thorn’s 5-3 dual record is tied for the third best on the team with redshirt junior Sam Brancale. The two players with better records, Brett Pfarr and Michael Kroells, are both upperclassmen and returning starters.
 
Robinson said Thorn’s biggest strength is how good the redshirt freshman is on his feet.
 
“The more you win the more you believe you can win,” Robinson said. “That’s the whole thing with Tommy, progression. You want to get better and better.”