Rising Star: Wellington’s Anna Cullens
WICHITA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Looking to defend her first state wrestling championship, Wellington’s Anna Cullens has been working non-stop to keep improving.
“I’ve learned that technique is almost everything, the power and drive that you have to have to want it, it’s all about the mentality,” said Wellington junior Anna Lisa Cullens.
Growing up around karate and judo, Wellington junior Anna Lisa Cullens used to watch her brother wrestle.
Thinking it looked fun, Cullens finally got the chance to compete in seventh grade as one of the only girls.
“It taught me to be stronger than what other people would learn now,” said Cullens.
Wellington wrestling coach Mitch McComb said, “Her work ethic, she’s got a wrestling mat in her garage. She works in the off season. It’s her intensity and drive, not only in wrestling but in track. She’s very good in track as well.”
Cullens is also a two-time state champion in 4A hurdles, her determination has made her one of the top athletes in Wellington history.
“The last time Wellington has had any state champion in wrestling was 2008 and I was here as an assistant coach and that was under a boy,” said McComb. “So, it being the first girl state champion, it was awesome.”
“After winning state, I got asked to join the Rogue Team Kansas vs. Team Missouri Dual and it was all champions on the team and just growing with those girls, it was just so exciting to see everyone just supporting everyone as a whole team of girls in a dual versus each other,” said Cullens.
“Coming in as a freshman, she was always aggressive and gong-ho but she has become mentally focused, especially last year,” said McComb. “We’ve got to get back to that level, we’re not quite there yet for this year. She has run into some stiffer competition which is good for her, it’s going to prepare her for the future.”
Coach McComb has seen Cullens make friendships on the mat over the years but said she can out wrestle all of them, even some of the boys.
“She will go out and shoot. She’s going to go after you. She’s the best I’ve ever seen in my 10 years of coaching, even on the boy’s side here in Wellington, as a takedown artist,” said McComb. “I believe she can take anyone down in the state.”
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