Oconto Falls’ Madison Thomson turning in top finishes on the wrestling mat

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Sophomore is becoming inspiration for younger athletes
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Oconto Falls sophomore Madison Thomson, top, has turned in several strong finishes during wrestling tournaments this year. (Contributed photo)

Oconto Falls High School sophomore Madison Thomson is not only turning in top finishes on the wrestling mat, she is also serving as an inspiration for young wrestlers.

Thomson’s most special win came in early March when she placed first at the Wisconsin Wrestling Federation Women’s High School Folkstyle State Tournament at Marshfield High School.

She opened the tournament with a pin in just 14 seconds. After receiving a forfeit, Thomson pinned Maya Trautsch of the Wisconsin Girls Wrestling Club in 48 seconds in the first-place match.

“I went in there pretty nervous, not really knowing what the outcome was going to be — just hoping to place first,” Thomson said of the state tournament. “I just gave it my all and was able to come out on top.”

She brought home second-place finishes in both the Folkstyle Tour of America Dominate in the Dells and the National United Wrestling Association for Youth Individual Nationals tournaments.

During the Folkstyle Tour of America tournament, held March 9-10 in Wisconsin Dells, Thomson opened her time on the mat with a pin in 1 minute, 52 seconds. She then lost by pin in 3:57 to Laona/Wabeno’s Paige Peterson, who went on to take first.

At the individual national tournament April 6 in East Lansing, Michigan, Thomson wrestled for Team Wisconsin. She won her first match by pin in 25 seconds before claiming an 8-6 decision win in the semifinals.

Thomson fell 5-3 by sudden victory in the first-place match to Bella Wazny of Michigan’s Northern Elite Pitbulls.

What mindset has contributed to her recent success? “Just staying motivated,” she said. “Having the thought that you are going to win in the back of your head.”

In carrying on a family tradition — her grandfather Ron, uncle Jeremy and brothers Nick and Jordan all wrestled — Thomson said she started wrestling at age 4. She attended youth practices both in Abrams and Oconto Falls. These days, Thomson said she mainly trains on her own with the help and guidance of her family.

Thomson doesn’t compete in other sports besides wrestling, which has long been seen as a boys sport. She said she’s wrestled in six states during her career and enjoys the challenge of facing girls from other states in part of an increasingly popular sport for her gender. According to the National Wrestling Coaches Association, the number of girls who wrestle in high school has skyrocketed from 804 in 1994 to 16,562 in 2018.

“She inspires all these other girls. There’s a couple girls on the practice team, and their mothers said that the only reason they are doing it (wrestling) is because of Madison,” said her father, Ron Thomson. “For what she has accomplished as a girl in wrestling, it’s motivated not only the girls, but some of the boys, too.”

“What motivates me is the younger kids looking up (to me),” Madison Thomson said. “I help coach some of the younger kids at the Abrams practice, so I try and do my best to show them that if you try your hardest, you can accomplish your goals.”