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  • West Vigo's Torieonna Buchanan working to make history

    By Y2CJ41
    Published in 




    Torrieanna Buchanan’s wrestling coach, Brian Otte, gave her a choice about an upcoming tournament. He told her she could wrestle at 106 pounds and probably win the tournament, or she could wrestle at 113 pounds and face a few ranked wrestlers. The decision was an easy one for the West Vigo senior – she wanted to face the ranked guys.


    “I want to wrestle all the ranked kids I can in my weight class,” Buchanan said. “Even if I get beat by them, they’re going to make me a better wrestler. You don’t get better wrestling kids you know you can beat. I want to wrestle the ones that are up there, that are going to push me the most.”


    That mindset is what has fueled Buchanan since she started wrestling at just 4-years-old. She challenges herself to get better every day. That’s led her to three consecutive girls state titles. She also became West Vigo’s first-ever female to reach the IHSAA semistate tournament.


    “Torrie never backs down from anything,” Otte said. “She is willing to outwork anyone. She’s not been treated as a girl ever in our room. She proves herself every single day.”


    For Buchanan, the key to her success is in her technique. She believes her strength will help her compete against girls, but it’s her technique that gives her the edge against the guys.


    “I really have to rely on technique,” Buchanan said. “Technique is the most important thing to me. You can have strength, but the person with the better technique is going to win almost every time. Technique has helped me more than anything else.”


    Coach Otte also believes Buchanan’s mental toughness is the key to her success.


    “Her best strength is her mental toughness,” Otte said. “She’s one of the toughest kids I’ve ever been around, mentally. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to become better. She trains here in the spring and summer, then she’ll go over to Red Cobra and train with Coach Red on the same day. She’s willing to work harder than anyone else.”


    That work ethic helped her with her college search as well. She has committed to wrestle for Campbellsville University. There she will wrestle for Coach Lee Miracle, the father of one of the wrestlers Buchanan has been a fan of for a long time – Kayla Miracle.


    Miracle was on hand when Buchanan signed with Campbellsville. She was also there when Buchanan tried out for the World Team.


    “She talked to me and told me I need to have fun in wrestling,” Buchanan said. “I need to go out there with the mentality that I want to win. She talked about not cutting wait and being the best version of me that I can be.”


    Miracle is one of the wrestlers Buchanan has always looked up to. She is the only female in Indiana to qualify for the state tournament, a goal Buchanan says would be her dream.


    “I really want to win girls state for the fourth time,” Buchanan said. “But I also want to make a run for boys state. I know Kayla was the last girl to make it to Friday night, and I want to make it past Friday night.”


    Buchanan has changed her perspective on her losses this season. In the past she would get frustrated at losing. Now she uses those losses to learn how to do better the next time.


    “I used to think that I sucked after a loss,” she said. “Now I take them as a win and I learn from them. They make me get better. The next time I wrestle the same kid, I’m hoping I can learn from that loss and go out and beat them.”


    Buchanan would like to get into coaching after college, and ultimately would love to represent the United States at the Olympic level.


    “She’s a great kid,” Otte said. “You really couldn’t ask for anything better. My wife and I call her one of our daughters. She’s polite and willing to help anyone with anything. She’s been raised right.


    “She’s the only girl in our room but she’s also the one that I use to demonstrate any move I’m teaching. She’s a leader on our team.”

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    She is always intense! She's been fun to see wrestle over the years.

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    I've watched her for years, she's a good wrestler and looking forward to her last run!

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