Thorn family gains ‘State Record’ 11th title
St. Michael-Albertville’s Tommy Thorn, Mitchell McKee, and Mark Voss all captured State individual titles at their respective weight classes in the Minnesota State Wrestling Tournament at the X-cel Energy Center in St. Paul Saturday, March 1.
Senior Tommy Thorn captured his fourth consecutive individual State title and 11th for his family giving the Thorn family the State record for “titles by brothers.” They were previously tied with 10 titles with the Sanders brothers of Wabasha-Kellogg.
Mike Thorn (2006) had 3 State titles, David Thorn (2009) captured 4 State titles, and now Tommy (2014) has 4 State titles for a total of 11 State titles for the family of John and Brenda Thorn. Sister, Christine Thorn, competed in 3 State Cross Country meets and 3 State basketball tournaments and now plays basketball at the University of Minnesota-Crookston. Tommy will follow the footsteps of his older brothers and wrestle for the Minnesota Gophers next season, where both of his brothers have earned “All-American” status in Division-1 while wrestling for the Gophers.
Tommy, who had 3 pins en route to the finals and a 12-0 win over George Farmah of Eastview, in the finals, said, “I was pretty confident for every match, but a little more nervous for the finals. I’ve known since my first State title that if I won 4 titles that me and my brothers would be making history, so it felt good to get that accomplished. I just wanted to make the most of my last State Tourney and it was a lot of fun. Our team did great, too. It’s gone by fast and I know I’ll miss it.”
“I was pretty nervous going into my finals match with Carson Brolsma,” said senior Mark Voss. “I had tweaked my knee in the semi’s and this was my third time to reach the State finals, so I didn’t want to get 2nd again.” Voss emerged victorious this time, edging out Brolsma by a score of 3-2. He became an STMA 4-time placewinner placing 5th-2nd-2nd-1st in his 4 years of making it to “State.” “This is what I’ve worked for all these years,” said an elated Voss.
Sophomore, Mitchell McKee, who placed third at State last season, felt he had let a State title get away from him last year, after losing in the semifinals, and did not want this one to get away. After a fairly close semifinal match where he beat undefeated Alex Lloyd of Shakopee by a score of 6-2, he took care of business in quick and dominant fashion, in the finals, pinning Malik Stewart of Blaine in the first period.
Mitch had requested that his Dad, Steve, be close to the mat for his final match and the High School League obliged, providing Steve McKee, who is in a battle for his life with cancer, a seat in the front row near mat number 2, normally off limits to spectators. “I wanted him to be close to me for my finals match. He has been with me every step of the way in my wrestling career,” said Mitch. There may not have been a dry eye in the “X” when immediately after his win, Mitch bee-lined for his father and gave him a lengthy embrace as the entire crowd rose to their feet. To add to the sentiment, Mitch’s opponent that he had just pinned for the State title followed Mitch over to Steve McKee and also gave him a hug, a true show of sportsmanship by Malik Stewart.
Senior Aaron Dick realized a career-long goal of “getting his name on the wall,” a tradition for STMA wrestlers that earn “All-State” status (place in the top 6) and make the podium. “I had been to State twice before and not placed, so it was very exciting for me to place this year, it’s been a goal of mine,” commented Aaron. Junior Jake Briggs placed 4th at 195 pounds, after making it to State a year ago and not placing. Freshman Evan Foster lost 2 close matches and was eliminated at 170 pounds in an admirable showing in his first State appearance.
The 3 State champs was more than last year’s total of 2 and the most ever by the Knights, except for 2006 when they had 4 State champs in class “AA”.