When they land in Denmark this week, the US contingent for the 2022 Thor Masters Invitational will include six athletes, all of whom bringing to the table relevant reasons for having made the trip. Take for instance the dynamic Alaskan duo of Jeremy Bockert and Colton Parduhn. Though the two age-group studs already brandish stamps on their respective passports, Thor Masters (and its popular accompanying camp) will represent their first taste of legitimate Senior overseas competition. The same is true for Logan Savvy (63 kg, NYAC), who began fashioning an active Senior profile in the midst of the pandemic and last year came close to achieving National Team honors.
Jessy Williams (67 kg, Spartan RTC) is no stranger to international travel and training — but that initial component has taken a hit over the past few years. Williams, long one of the nation’s most capable (and most frustrating) Greco-Roman lightweights, is tight with several athletes and coaches from Sweden and is himself a Thor Masters vet. He prefers the Scandinavian way of doing things. The problem? Just as it has been for most USA Seniors outside of the World and National Team scope, Williams getting across the Atlantic has proven to be quite the challenge, what with restrictions, red tape, and scheduling perhaps the biggest culprits.
Bockert, Parduhn, Savvy, and Williams — what Nykobing Falster might mean to their own individual causes aligns mostly with competitive goals that are intended for the spring of ’23, if not potentially even further down the line. It is an entirely different story when it comes to ’22 US U23 World Teamer Mason Hartshorn (63 kg, West Coast Greco RTC) and Jake Fisher (77 kg, Curby 3-Style).
Hartshorn, also a Senior National Team member, should require zero preamble. The technically-slick Californian is not leveraging Thor Masters ’22 for what he hopes are looks and feels that which might pay dividends in the wrestling room ahead of another standout spring campaign. The U23 World tournament is just three weeks away; and because competitive opportunities have been scarce in recent months, Thor Masters for Hartshorn is a rather important testing ground. The CYC product is a seasoned international performer who, along with garnering an appearance in the Junior World Championships (’19), owns several overseas medals and is wise to the ways of European training. But because Americans have by and large struggled to get to the other side of the ocean dating back to ’20, a refresher is in order. Hartshorn can absorb whatever happens in both the tournament and camp to reacquaint himself with how foreigners operate as a means to sharpen up for the more pressing matter set to take place in Spain.
Speaking of reacquainting one’s self with the Euro flavor, Fisher is the one addition to the ’22 Thor roster that — despite his wishes — should attract at least a little attention.
No one in this group comes close to approaching Fisher’s vast degree of experience. Twice a World Team member (’10, ’11), 38-year-old Fisher started traveling the globe back when he was a part of Northern Michigan’s “golden era” at the USOEC under Ivan Ivanov. His feet have dented the soil in dozens of countries. Yet, the narrative for Fisher does not drastically deviate from the rest of the delegation. The last time Fisher competed overseas was in ’15 — at the Golden Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan. An interesting tidbit, particularly for hardened fans. The Golden Grand Prix ceased operations the very next year due to various reasons, key among them reportedly Azerbaijan’s turbulent economy (AZE did not hold the rights to the event but the nation was its most frequent host). In a sense, Fisher has outlasted the GGP, though it is unlikely such a factoid would incite even the subtlest furrow of his brow.
Thor Masters 2022
All times +6 hours ET
(Click to stream live)
Friday, September 30
3:00pm-6:00pm — Preliminary rounds
Saturday, October 1
10:30am-3:30pm — Preliminary rounds
3:30pm-4:00pm — Bronze-medal matches
4:30pm-6:00pm — Finals
TEAM USA ROSTER
Mason Hartshorn (CYC/West Coast Greco RTC)
Logan Savvy (NYAC)
Jeremy Bockert (IGA)
Colton Parduhn (IGA)
Jessy Williams (NYAC/Spartan RTC)
Jake Fisher (Curby 3-Style)
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