Sept. 3, 2012
MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin freshman wrestler Jesse Thielke is in Pattaya, Thailand, this week competing at the FILA Junior World Championships, an experience that UW head coach, Barry Davis, believes will be beneficial for the young wrestler.
Thielke, who will compete at 60 kg/132 lb. in the Greco-Roman competition at the tournament, is no stranger to international competition. This is his fourth trip to the world junior championships (he's still seeking his first medal at the event), and, spent last year training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., in an attempt to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Davis said that Thielke's impressive international resume at such a young age will be beneficial for the Germantown, Wis., native as he makes the transition to the collegiate ranks, and that can only help the Badgers this season.
"He's had some good experience at a young age," Davis said. "I think him spending the last year at the OTC, and being around world class athletes, was good for him too. By doing that, he's been around the best guys, and I think he's going to mean a lot to our program here too.
"Experience wise, maturity wise, it's a win-win both ways."
Thielke certainly isn't your typical freshman wrestler, as he is already a seasoned veteran of the sport without ever having stepped foot on a collegiate mat, and it's because of that that Davis believes Thielke is ready to step in right away for the Badgers.
"He wants to come in right away and compete at a high level and I think he'll do that," Davis said. "He understands what it takes to win at a high level."
But, Davis said that doesn't mean there won't be challenges for Thielke to overcome as he makes the move to collegiate wrestling, and despite his vast list of experiences, he will go through the same rigors as any freshman Wisconsin wrestler.
"We have to get him in the room, he has to compete in some tournaments first, and we'll go from there," Davis said. "It's like you do with any freshman. There are changes he has to make, from Greco to freestyle, back to the collegiate style so it will be a bit of a change.
"We'll see how he develops as workouts go along and put him in some open competitions and see how things fare there."
The FILA Junior World Championships take place Sept. 4-9 in Pattaya, Thailand.
FILA JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Pattaya, Thailand, September 4-9, 2012
Greco-Roman competitors (U.S.)
50 kg/110 lbs. - Isaiah Varona, Miami, Fla. (USOEC)
55 kg/121 lbs. - Mike Fuenffinger, Hibbing, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
60 kg/132 lbs. - Jesse Thielke, Germantown, Wis. (Sunkist Kids)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Nick Alvarez, Miami, Fla. (USOEC)
74 kg/163 lbs. - Geordan Speiller, Boca Raton, Fla. (Florida Jets)
84 kg/185 lbs. - Lucas Sheridan, Concord, Calif. (Hoosier WC/CYC)
96 kg/211 lbs. - Marcus Finau, Ewa Beach, Hawaii (USOEC)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Wyatt Baker, Anaheim Hills, Calif. (NYAC)
Coaches - National Greco-Roman Developmental Coach Ike Anderson, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Shawn Sheldon, West Palm Beach, Fla.
Men's Greco-Roman Event Schedule
Tuesday, September 4
Men's Greco-Roman - 50kg, 60kg, 74kg, 96kg
Wednesday, September 5
Men's Greco-Roman - 55kg, 66kg, 84kg, 120kg
U.S. Greco-Roman Junior World Champions
1971 - Berney Gonzales, 60 kg
1981 - Mark Fuller, 48 kg
1993 - Jason Gleasman, 130 kg
1999 - Garrett Lowney, 97 kg
UW Athletic Communications