Olivia Troxell has been in this situation before.
In 2019, as a sophomore, she entered the Division I girls state wrestling tournament with a perfect 24-0 record.
She lost in the semifinals of that tournament — her only loss of the season — and ended up placing third.
Here Troxell is two years later, heading to the state’s biggest stage undefeated with a 16-0 record.
The two-day tournament begins today at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage.
Troxell is more than ready to put an exclamation point on a Hall of Fame career.
“She has had a goal since her freshman year and has been serious about it,” Kodiak coach Junior Valladolid said.
“She loves to compete and is not scared of anybody. She wants to wrestle the best and once everybody to know that she is the best.”
Troxell, a 112-pounder, has been the face of the program the past two seasons, compiling a 73-14 career record. She’s a three-time state placer — third twice and fifth once — and a two-time Northern Lights Conference Champion.
The only thing missing from her resume is state champion.
“She is going to be in that match where she is going to have to dig deep and show that she really wants it,” Kodiak coach Junior Valladolid said.
Troxell has only experienced one match that went the distance this season — a 6-4 victory over Chugiak’s Gia Unterberger in the championship of the Grace Grizzly Showdown.
Nine of her 13 pinfalls have come in the first round. Her two other victories were by technical fall.
Troxell is unsure what has fueled her dominant stretch, but she relishes each victory.
“It feels good to finish with a pin because you don’t have to go the whole six minutes,” she said.
Luckily for Kodiak wrestling, her two-year stint as a dancer didn’t pan out. She returned to wrestling as a middle schooler and has not looked back. After state, she is going to pin down a college.
“My dad went to the concerts, and he said that all of the girls would be dancing and I would be running in the wrong direction and going crazy on the stage,” Troxell said.
She went back to wrestling to spend time with her older brother Truxton but soon found out she was pretty good on the mat.
She started as a 130-pounder as a freshman, and the past two years has competed at 112 pounds.
Troxell likes that wrestling is a team and individual sport.
“When you lose, it is by yourself, and you have to learn how to cope with that, but you also get to take awesome wins,” she said. “I just like that you can’t blame your losses on anybody but yours.”
Valladolid said he has known Olivia since she was in diapers. He understands how she has developed that workman-like mentality.
“When you are around the family, you can really see where she gets it from — they are nose to the grindstone type of people. No excuses, get it done.”
Troxell is one of six wrestlers representing Kodiak at the state meet. Joining her will be Jonah Stewart, Ram Caballa, Samuel Lopez, Ivan Rodriguez and Megan Cornett.
Stewart and Lopez qualified for state by placing in the top 5 of their weight classes at the Northern Lights Conference Championships. Caballa, Rodriguez and Cornett all earned at-large bids.
Rodriguez thought his season was finished after going 0-2 at the NLC tournament. He had just cracked open a Cheez-It box when he was notified that his season was not over.
Valladolid is excited to see what Rodriguez will do with his second chance.
“Ivan was wrestling great for the past month. It was really unfortunate that he did not have a good tournament,” the coach said.