Owen Townsend: Freshman Prodigy

Townsend is on the road to success


Credit: Courtesy of Owen Townsend

In his spare time, Owen Townsend enjoys football and fishing.

Noah C, Staff Writer

Despite being a freshman at WAHS, wrestler Owen Townsend is making his mark in the wrestling program. Not only does he wrestle against college-level athletes, but Owen was also the Virginia State champ and third in the nation.

When asked what he’s most proud of Owen for, Wrestling coach and dad Scott Townsend said, “I’m proud of his leadership on and off the mat. What makes me most proud is when he wins with humility and shows respect to his opponent when he loses. I am also very proud of when he comes back from a loss. Over the past two weeks, he has defeated three wrestlers that have beaten him earlier. That shows that he is working hard and learning.”

Starting at a young age, Townsend has pursued wrestling with a burning passion. “I decided to start wrestling in third grade when I first moved to Virginia,” Townsend commented. “I used to do Judo in North Carolina and when we moved they didn’t have a Judo class, so I decided to try wrestling.”

Owen’s decision paid off – big time. In seventh grade, just four years into his wrestling career, he became the state champion in his weight group. Then, he went on to place third in nationals that same year. “I did it through hard work. I’m at practice 300 out of the 365 days a year. There’s always someone better than me. I gotta train to beat the best, so I train with them. I used to wrestle UVA wrestlers and got my butt kicked. They taught me lessons, and since then the playing field has leveled out.”

Coach Townsend, Owen’s dad, has also noticed his hard work. “At this level, wrestlers have to understand how to control their bodies, their minds, and their opponents. Owen has taken huge steps forward in this area. As a person, he is maturing right before my eyes.”

Being completely devoted to wrestling, Townsend runs a tight ship. “I set up a schedule that I’ve been using since second grade. After school, I go straight to wrestling, eat dinner, take a shower, and from that time on until I go to sleep I’ll be doing homework. On Saturday I’ll be at a wrestling tournament, and on Sundays, I’ll be doing homework or fishing. I love to fish.”

Christianity is a huge part of Owen’s wrestling career. “He (God) has always been a huge part of my wrestling,” Owen commented. “I have a Bible verse in my wrestling shoe and I pray before every match. He is a huge influence when it comes to my performance, and I feel he is guiding me to achieve my goals through my wins and losses.” Coach Townsend has also noticed Owen’s faith. “Owen knows that God has given him a special talent and it is his responsibility to use that talent to the best of his ability.” 

Townsend leaves young wrestlers with a piece of advice. “Take it one step at a time. Set goals for yourself, and don’t get jumped ahead. When you get on the mat, it’s just you and the other guy, so stay focused on that.”