Atom wrestles at states


Junior Alan Kokilananda grabs his opponent’s leg in one of his matches

Kayla Holcomb, Staff Writer

On Feb. 16, at Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake Virginia, Allen Kokilananda started his journey at the Wrestling State Championship.

Kokilananda, who has been wrestling for 11 years, but was still a bit nervous going in despite his experience, since this would be his first State Tournament. Also going in he had his eyes on some tough competitors.

“I think my toughest competitor would have been Aiden Murphy from Ocean Lakes,”  Kokilananda said. Murphy had an unexpected injury, so Kokilananda did not end up competing against him. Besides Murphy, the Coaches and Kokilananda did not see anyone else as a huge threat. “We weren’t afraid of anyone, it boils down to execution and determination, which Allen carries with him each and every time he steps onto the mat,” Varsity Wrestling Coach, Derek Sweet said.

To prepare for the tough competition he would have to face, Kokilananda push himself during practices and focused mainly on technique. Kokilanandas coaches also had a big part in helping him prepare.

Day one of practice consisted of a one-to-one session with just his coaches. Day two and three Kokilananda went to Hayfield to train with multitude of wrestlers from several schools. “It is always a good idea to get a wrestler of Allen’s caliber as many different “looks” as possible, so that he is prepared for most any style of wrestler he may face in the tournament,” Sweet said.

Kokilananda ended his states run with a record of one win and two losses, essentially placing in the top eight of his weight class.

Going forward the team looks to improve on repetitions, meaning dedicating themselves during the off season and staying fresh. “We will also strength-train and push our athletes to play football in the fall for additional help with strength and coordination,” Sweet said.

Kokilananda honors his coaches, parents and friends, for pushing him all season. “Without their support I would have never accomplished what I did,” Kokilananda said.