Senior takes wrestling to next level

September 22, 2011 — by Shivani Chadha

Senior Alfred Murabito’s wrestling career began at age 12. At the time he had no idea where wrestling would take him; it all began as just a fun pastime. Now, just a five years later, Murabito is taking his passion to the next level and plans to wrestle at University of Pennsylvania next fall.

Senior Alfred Murabito’s wrestling career began at age 12. At the time he had no idea where wrestling would take him; it all began as just a fun pastime. Now, just a five years later, Murabito is taking his passion to the next level and plans to wrestle at University of Pennsylvania next fall.

Murabito’s recruitment began at the end of his junior year, when he received an email from the UPenn wrestling coach. Murabito had attended a UPenn wrestling camp in the Bay Area the summer before junior year and the assistant coach took interest in his skills.

After attending a couple of more camps and even staying with the wrestling team in Pennsylvania, Murabito knew he was interested in the school’s program.

“None of my family members have ever attended UPenn and I knew I wanted to wrestle in college and it was excited that they were interested,” Murabito said.

Murabito then received a “likely” email from the coach, which is only sent out to eight people in the nation and is an email demonstrating the coach’s interest and Murabito’s likely acceptance into UPenn. Murabito has yet to send in his verbal or written commitment before being officially accepted at the university.

However, the process was not as simple as it may seem since Murabito’s recruitment required endless training and hard work on his part.

“I had to do year-round practices,” Murabito said. “Mostly every day and during the summer it was often more than once a day.”

Last year Murabito wrestled in the 132 lb category and will most likely wrestle at 140 this year. Murabito has been and is currently training with a private coach, CC Fisher, outside of school season. He lifts weights and has club practices to stay in shape.

Murabito’s commitment to wrestling sometimes gets in the way of his schoolwork, but he’s adjusted his time management and has done exceptionally well under the circumstances.

“Sometimes I’ll put homework off till the next day or morning after wrestling, which sometimes hurts my homework grade, but it’s all worth it in the end,” Murabito said.

Though Ivy League schools do not offer scholarships, wrestling merely ensures his admission with the proper grades and test scores, which Murabito has worked hard to achieve. Even with wrestling practices and matches, Murabito keeps schoolwork as one of his top priorities and maintains a rigorous schedule at school, consisting of numerous AP and honors classes.

Despite the hard work required, Murabito enjoys himself and has been able to travel to Virginia, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Michigan for tournaments and camps. Murabito said his workouts are fairly normal, consisting of drills and practice wrestling against teammates and simply require him to stay in shape on and off season.

“My workouts are mostly drilling moves, there’s no secret method or anything,” Murabito said. “But occasionally I have to wrestle blind, which is always fun.”

Wrestling blind requires Murabito to cover or close his eyes and wrestle while relying on his other senses to improve his reaction time during matches.

Murabito said he’s also had to work on his signature move, called the single leg, which is slightly risky but allows him to transform a failed knee or leg attack into a powerful take-down.

Murabito even works out while at home, often making use of the yoke bar he has in his garage, which requires him to do a push-up while balancing on a bar suspended in the air. Murabito said the yoke bar makes the normal push-up more strenuous and helps him build his upper body strength.

There have been good times and bad times, but Murabito’s hard work has helped him achieve his ultimate goal. He hopes to continue wrestling through the entirety of his college career.

“I’m glad that my wrestling has helped me into an Ivy League school,” Murabito said. “I hope to make the best out of it in the future even though it’ll probably be really hard.”

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