West learns even more after time with Olympians

Oak Ridge wrestling star striving to improve
By: Matt Long
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Kyle West placed second in the state in the 135-pound weight class last wrestling season, just missing out on achieving his goal of being a state champion. Last week’s time spent training and wrestling with the U.S. Olympic team in Colorado Springs, along with the U.S. National and Canadian National teams, could help put him over the top. As one of the top scholastic wrestlers in the state, West knows all the moves he’s going to know, but it’s fine-tuning the little things that’s going to be what makes him even better. “I had a great time there,” West said. “It’s really what I expected it to be. We just drilled and went over technique and they critiqued me and gave me tips that will help my moves to be so much more effective. I just sharpened up things and I also learned a couple of things on my feet that I can use. “It was definitely worth it.” West worked out twice a day with the Olympians, which included a warm-up period, drilling on your own, going over technique where coaches critiqued West, situational wrestling and then some matches. “I’d usually wrestle members from the U.S. and Canadian National teams,” West said. “Between and after the practices, they’d have open mat time and I worked a lot with Derek Moore. We would just drill and go over technique and I learned a lot of things. “Derek is so technical and knows so much about wrestling and I learned a lot from him.” Moore, the 2007 National Champion at 141 pounds from UC Davis, is now wrestling during his four-year tour with the Army. He invited West to come train with he and the Olympic team. Not only does West hope to some day be a California state champion, but his ultimate goal is to be a Olympic gold medallist. Training with the team made him even more hungrier. “It’s a totally different atmosphere,” West said. “I’m definitely more excited now about wrestling and some day being an Olympian.” This week West is attending the Azevedo Wrestling Camp in Squaw Valley, which runs Tuesday through Saturday. When he gets home he’ll start training for the wrestling season, where one of his first goals will be to win the Iron Man Wrestling Tournament in Ohio in early December.