(Image from http://netimpact.mit.edu/ )
Sabrina Cheng, a Townsend Harris High School senior who is a Beat the Streets wrestler, was recently accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Cheng started wrestling her sophomore year when Coach Jacque Davis, the BTS Head Girls Coach, visited Townsend Harris to recruit for the team. Cheng said, “I had never considered wrestling before and I joined just for the fact that it was something new to do. Learning new things excited me.” Her favorite moment was when she won third in cities during her first year. “I didn't even expect to rank at any level and didn't know I was actually fighting for third until that very match came up,” she said. “It was a pleasant surprise.”
Coach Davis recounted how she got to know Cheng two years ago at Fargo. “Two years ago, [Cheng] traveled with New York National Team to compete in her first national event. Even as a coach, Fargo nationals and the camp can be intimidating-- four days of non-stop grinding practices, a 50 hour bus ride, weigh-ins, 20+ mats, and competition against the best girls that the country has to offer. What Sabrina truly is and how she really got to where she is is not because of talent. It is because of hard work, perseverance, passion, and staying grounded. I would wish her luck in all of her endeavors, but again, luck has nothing to do with it when you're as dedicated and committed as she is."
Cheng described joining the school wrestling team as one of the best decisions she made. “I found a little family with my team and wrestling helped boost my confidence because I saw my hard work and enthusiasm pay off.”
She stated that her goals for wrestling currently include just having fun while she’s still with her team. She explained that “with college and bigger goals to look forward to, it's hard sometimes to see wrestling as a fun thing to do rather than another extracurricular.”
While she plans to join a club sport for either wrestling or jiu jitsu, Cheng went on to explain that her goals outside of wrestling “are to enjoy what I learn at MIT, to join extracurriculars that excite me, to learn how to build a roller coaster or drive a spaceship, and to research physics phenomena regarding gravity, dark matter or energy, and quantum mechanics.”
Coach Jacque Davis spoke highly of Cheng: "Sabrina is an extremely special person, not just because she got accepted to MIT-- although I think that is surely proof of how awesome she is-- but because of who she is as a person. I would call it talent but I won't because that would only discredit what it actually is.”
Cheng gave the following advice to younger wrestlers: “I would tell them to not be afraid of anything. Just have fun and be passionate because, with that, you'll reach your goals and learn a lot about yourself and the sport. Don't be scared to try new moves or take risks because the improvisation is the fun part.”
Regarding next fall at MIT, Cheng said that “I couldn't be more excited to start a new chapter in my life doing what I love.”
Congratulations, Sabrina, and good luck!