Bernick’s Take Me Back Tuesday: Svendsen Brothers Created Family Dynasty on the Wrestling Mat at SJU

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – A family dynasty on the wrestling mat at Saint John’s University came to a close 50 years ago this month.

Brothers Gary and Tom Svendsen recorded 201 victories between them in a span stretching from Gary’s freshman season in 1968-69 to Tom’s senior season in 1973-74.

Gary – who finished his career with a record of 105-9 – earned All-America honors twice – finishing fifth at 134 pounds at the NAIA national meet in 1971, then winning a national title at the same weight class in 1972.

He won National Catholic Invitational titles as a sophomore and senior and finished second during his junior season. In addition, he won MIAC titles in 1969, ’70 and ’71. Continue reading at →

St. Cloud Orthopedics Feature: Thorsten Steps Into Mentor Role on SJU Wrestling Team

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – When Logan Thorsten arrived on the Saint John’s University campus in the fall of 2021, the 157-pound freshman wrestler immediately found a mentor in older teammate Julian Mares ’23.

“He reached out and really took me under his wing,” recalls Thorsten of Mares, then a junior who wrestled one class above him at 165 pounds. “I followed him and learned a lot. He was a pretty social guy and that helped too because I knew I could talk to him about anything – school, wrestling, whatever.”

Flash forward a couple of years and Thorsten – who holds 39 career victories – has become one of the Johnnies’ top performers. Now a junior himself, he is trying to be the mentor Mares was for him to his younger teammates on a roster that this season includes 17 freshmen.

“I see so much potential in this group,” Thorsten said. “I want to be one of the people who helps get them where they want to go.” Continue reading at →

Benton County Connection Clicking on the Mat at SJU

By Frank Rajkowski, SJU Writer/Video Producer

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – Ben Gilbertson and Logan Thorsten have more in common than just their shared roots in Central Minnesota.

The duo – let’s call them the Saint John’s University wrestling team’s Benton County Connection – are also each driven by a deep motivation to demonstrate what they are capable of at the college level.

“Coming out of high school, I had a couple of offers from schools here and there, but not really a lot of them,” said Thorsten, a 157-pound freshman from Foley High School who qualified for the Class 2A state meet four times during his prep career, including a fourth-place finish as a senior last season.

“So I do want to show people they missed out. But I’m naturally competitive anyway. I think everybody on this team has that drive to be the best they possibly can.”

Continue reading →