Amanda Wikramanayake has been correcting people on the pronunciation of her name for as long as she can remember.
“I’ve heard everything,” she said. “It’s all kind of close. I think it looks how it sounds.”
It’s pronounced wiker-muh-ni-uh-kuh. The name is Sri Lankan, after Wikramanayake’s father, who moved from Sri Lanka to the states about 25 years ago. Her mom is German, so Wikramanayake’s heritage, like many Americans, is a bit of a melting pot.
Her friends? They just call her “Wicky.” The Peninsula senior is known not only as the girl with the long name, but also as one of the state’s best runners, across several different events.
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Wikramanayake was a state qualifier last season in sprints, distance and relays. She runs practically every event, from the 100-meter all the way to the 1,600.
She came into Peninsula primarily as a sprinter, and over time, became more versatile with her events.
“I used to not be good at distance,” Wikramanayake said. “But one day, I just wanted to train really hard for cross country. Ever since then, it’s just gone up.”
Sophomore year, she branched out to the 400. Then last year, as a junior, she dabbled in the 800. Now, as a senior, she’s even competing in the 1,600.
“I just keep going up every year,” Wikramanayake said with a laugh.
While she didn’t place in any events at the Class 3A state meet last season, Wikramanayake is hopeful that this year will be her best yet. Wikramanayake has a good shot of once again qualifying for state in several different events.
“Last year’s state wasn’t that great for me,” Wikramanayake said. “I think I just do really well and then put too much pressure on myself. This year, I’m just trying to have fun. It’s my senior year so I just want to go out there and compete.”
Wikramanayake said she believes the key to a good showing at the state meet is just “going out there and competing.”
If she’s able to take the next step and build off a strong cross country season, Wikramanayake has a good chance of finding herself on the state podium in her final season of high school track.
And who knows, maybe the stadium announcer at Mount Tahoma will get her name right on the first try.