Wrestling: Union state champ Jack Thomsen commits to South Dakota State

Cody Goodwin
The Des Moines Register

Union senior Jack Thomsen made his college decision on Friday, and he’s headed outside the state. 

A Class 2A state champion last season, Thomsen committed to South Dakota State. He ultimately chose the Jackrabbits over Northern Iowa and projects as a 149-pounder. 

“I could tell they really wanted me,” Thomsen told the Des Moines Register. “They just really showed that they wanted me, and I liked that. I felt like I was part of the family.” 

Thomsen becomes the ninth in-state wrestler in the 2020 class to commit to a Division I program. He’s just the second to verbal to an out-of-state program — Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s Josh Vis recently committed to Northern Illinois. 

The other seven are staying in-state: Mason City’s Cullan and Colby Schriever and Southeast Polk’s Gabe Christenson are all going to Iowa; Woodward-Granger’s Cody Fisher and Ankeny Centennial’s Ben Monroe are both going to Iowa State; and Lisbon’s Cael Happel and West Sioux’s Adam Allard, both three-time state champs, are bound for Northern Iowa. 

And although he’s leaving Iowa, Thomsen will be joining a program full of former Iowa high school standouts.

Currently, there are seven Iowa natives on South Dakota State’s roster, including four true freshmen (Cade DeVos, Daniel Kimball, Skyler Noftsger and Spencer Trenary) and two redshirt freshmen (Tanner Sloan and Zach Price). The seventh: Henry Pohlmeyer, a senior from Johnston. Even more, former Iowa State wrestler Danny Vega is also on the roster, and Cody Caldwell, a former Waverly-Shell Rock and Northern Iowa wrestler, is an assistant coach. 

“That definitely helped make my decision easier,” Thomsen said. “There’s a ton of Iowa kids there.”

Thomsen is the younger brother of Northern Iowa All-American Max Thomsen. Max was a four-time state champion for Union. He’s won 83 matches and has qualified for the NCAA Championships three times entering his senior season with the Panthers, . 

Jack Thomsen heard from Northern Iowa often over the past year and has seen the Panthers’ recent run of success up-close. But in the end, he sought what he felt was the best fit rather than joining his older brother in Cedar Falls. 

“I tried not too think too much about that,” Thomsen said. “I wanted to make my own decision.”

On Friday, he pulled the trigger, allowing him to focus on his senior season. He has a 131-8 career record. He’s a three-time 2A state medalist, placing seventh at 106 as a freshman and third at 120 as a sophomore before winning at 138 last year.

This season, Thomsen said he plans to wrestle at 145 pounds. He will be the leader of a Union team that could rise up and contend in a wide-open 2A team race come February. The first day of high school wrestling practice in Iowa is Nov. 18.

“It was pretty important to me to make this decision before the season,” Thomsen said. “I felt like a lot of pressure was on me all summer to make my decision. Now, I have that weight off my shoulders and can focus on my senior season.”

Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.

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