Wrestling to the top

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The Townsend Harris girls varsity wrestling team competed in the 2015 Girls Freestyle Wrestling Championship. Fighting hard, the Lady Hawks finished sixth overall in a respectable finish to their sophomore season.

After qualifying at a tournament at Canarsie High School on May 30, five wrestlers moved on to the individual city championship finals on June 2 at Hunter High School.

The top three individual scorers were all from THHS. Sophomore captain Alexis Sarabia grabbed first place. Junior captain Rebecca West and sophomore Sabrina Cheng followed in second and tirs place, respectively. Junior Ivy Lam placed fifth, and freshman Daniella Babayev placed sixth.

Given that most members of the team were rookies or underclassmen, the team believed that they had a successful season. Freshman Leah Musheyev explained, “It really takes a lot of work. When we started, we didn’t even know what wrestling would be like and never wrestled ourselves.”

Rebecca, who was seeded third in her weight class, recounted her most memorable match: “[I had] no losses during the season except during the Gotham City Wrestling Tournament, where I lost to a girl who was second in the nation from Texas. That match was my favorite match of the whole season solely because it showed that I could hold my own against a great wrestler.”

The match encouraged Rebecca in the city championships. She said, “It gave me confidence. I get extremely nervous at big tournaments, and having that under my belt let me know that I can wrestle well and medal at cities.”

Alexis recalled the motivation her coaches gave her during her match. She said, “During my championship match, I remember hearing my coaches saying, ‘It’s just another match. Wrestle the way you always do’ and  ‘You’re doing great, Alexis. Stay focused and be patient.’”

This motivation paid off as Alexis placed first in the 107 lbs weight class.

In preparation for next year’s wrestling season, Leah revealed that all members will be attending a weeklong wrestling camp to improve their skills.

Adding on, Sabrina, who won bronze in the championship, claimed, “To improve my skills, I’m going to a summer camp and also joining the co-ed wrestling season. I’ll probably also be going to practices at Beat the Streets [a wrestling organization where student athletes can participate in amateur wrestling].”

Leah concluded, “This year, I believe we gave it all we could.”