Athlete of the Month: Hayden Ancheta

The four-year wrestler reflects on his athletic journey

Michelle Zheng

Michelle Zheng

Junior Hayden Ancheta dabbled in many sports as a child, ranging from team sports such as volleyball to individual sports such as track and field. However, the sport that captured Ancheta’s interest was wrestling. While Ancheta initially thought that wrestling was “weird,” he realized that he actually “really liked [the sport]” when he decided to join the team in eighth grade. His passion for wrestling led him to participate in the Sunnyvale Wrestling Club, which, according to Ancheta, is the “biggest reason why [he’s] as successful as he is right now.”

As he progressed into high school, Ancheta states that his focus on prioritizing both wrestling and academics meant his “social life went out the window.” However, according to Ancheta, he is willing to make this “sacrifice” if it meant that he could “accomplish [his] goals and dreams of wrestling in college and [possibly] pursuing the sport past that.”

Ancheta placed third overall and second in the junior section at the nationals qualifying tournament after defeating two of the 2020-21 national qualifiers and he will compete in the national tournament Fargo as a part of the junior team this summer. With this important event in mind, Ancheta tries to not let the “pressure” get to him. His plan is simple: “train hard, mentally be in the right zone, [and] go out there with confidence.”  

Although Ancheta is uncertain about what his future with wrestling will look like, he knows for sure that wrestling will always be an important aspect of his life, regardless of whether he goes “pro [or] international” with wrestling, or becomes a part-time wrestling coach.

“I don’t know how far I will go in the sport,” Ancheta said. “Honestly, with my mindset I [can] go as far as I want. But the fact of the matter is, your mind can take you to unimaginable places but your body can only hold out for so long.”