Beat The Streets - New York City Wrestling

Katherine Turchin, a recent graduate and wrestler of Hunter College High School (HCHS), will be heading across the pond to Oxford University this fall.  

Turchin was first introduced to wrestling during her freshman year gym class. Coach Jacque Davis, BTSNY Head Girls Coach, and HCHS girls' team captains gave a presentation that left an impression on Turchin. The confidence displayed by Davis and the captains is what inspired Turchin to not only join the team, but become stronger and more confident in herself.  She never expected that she'd come to love the sport as much as she does now and is happy to have stuck with it for the past four years.    

When asked about the impact wrestling has had on her life, Turchin described the sport as "instrumental in developing my self-confidence, discipline, and personal relationships throughout high school." She added that she wouldn't be the person she is today without wrestling. 

Turchin's semifinals match at City Championships this year was one of her favorite wrestling moments.  "I had wrestled the entire 6 minute match and it was some of my best wrestling," she said. Turchin proudly explained that she had kept control, stayed calm, and looked for opportunities to score. She wants to repeat this specific performance when she wrestles at The Cadet/Junior National Championships in Fargo, ND July 16-22, the tournament commonly known as Fargo.  

Before the end of this past season, Turchin's goals were to place in cities and qualify for Fargo, both of which she achieved. Her current goals are to be an All American wrestler at Fargo and to "establish a significant wrestling presence" at Oxford. Oxford currently doesn't have a wrestling team or an official wrestling club. Turchin's ultimate goal is to form an official wrestling club during her time at Oxford and to help bring wrestling to an intercollegiate stage in the UK. In the meantime, Turchin plans on at least joining Oxford's Jiu Jitsu, Judo, or Mixed Martial Arts clubs.  

Turchin has wanted to go to Oxford since she was an eighth grader because of its strong archaeology program. Having one of the best archaeology programs in the world, Oxford will provide seemingly limitless research, travel, and cultural opportunities. Turchin also described the beauty of the university grounds, which she "fell in love with" when she toured Oxford.  

Turchin has various interests related to her pursuit of archaeology.  She also wants to eventually be involved in politics or international relations, specifically "looking at politics from an archaeological lens." According to Turchin, archaeology can be used for politics through environmental archaeology, for example. Enviornmental archaeology "looks at how different societies have interacted with their environment and with nature; this could be used to formulate policy relating to climate change that is suited for varied cultures." 

Coach Shawn Noh of HCHS described Turchin as "proof positive that dedication and hard work pays off." Noh also described Turchin as a fearless competitor during the co-ed and girls freestyle season, fully earning her place on the NYS team going to Fargo. Noh has known Turchin for two years and said that "the difference between last year and this year is night and day," a sentiment echoed by Coach Rafael Soto, Head Girls Coach at HCHS.  

It was evident between Noh's and Soto's accounts that Turchin clearly made wrestling a priority this year. She rarely missed practices during the season, which led to a third place finish in the Girls Folkstyle City Tournament that followed the co-ed season and a second place finish in the Girls Freestyle City Tournament.  Both Noh and Soto observed an inner drive in Turchin 

Turchin has used her practices this year to study her weaknesses.  Live wrestling allowed her to understand the mistakes she typically makes in a match and drilling allowed her to focus specifically on those mistakes, as opposed to moves she may already be stronger with.  

Soto has been astonished by the transformation considering that Turchin  never won or placed in tournaments prior to this year. He paid a high compliment by saying "I have never had an athlete make such a dramatic transformation... She put her mind and will into this endeavor and made it happen." Soto added that Turchin has proven that she "has the will, determination and dedication to make her dreams come true."   

When advising younger wrestlers, Turchin suggests working on the fundamentals, specifically balance and stance. "Your balance will form the way you wrestle for your entire career, and not developing it enough initially will pose a great obstacle later on," said Turchin. She provided herself as an example, saying she didn't work on her balance as much she should have and now has to work "twice as hard to maintain it."  

We wish Katherine Turchin well as she continues onto Oxford University this fall. She clearly has what it takes to achieve her goals, on and off the mat. 

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