Alessandra Elliott details journey to becoming a national champion
The Staten Island wrestler is fueled by competition and striving to be the best she can be on the mat.
When Alessandra Elliott joined the Tottenville Middle School wrestling team in fifth grade, she struggled to see past how challenging it was.
"I hated wrestling so much," said Elliott, "It was hard, and I would get tired so easily."
But Elliott, adamant to see the sport through, persevered through a grueling first year. The next year, Elliott began competing at tournaments outside New York City with funding and coaching from Beat the Streets, and it was as if a light switch turned on.
"Competing is so fun," said Elliott. "I always feel good after I push through something difficult."
Elliott's love for competition shone especially this summer, where she became the 16U champion at 138 pounds at the prestigious Fargo National Championships.
"I had nothing to lose," said Elliott. "Everyone from BTS was texting me their support. I already made it this far, who why not keep pushing and get that plaque?"
Elliott overcame any her nerves she had and won the national title with three double-leg takedowns.
"I'm hyped, Alessandra's hyped and we're hugging, laughing, cheering," recalled former BTS girls coach Emma Randall on Elliott winning. "That's definitely one of my favorite Beat the Streets memories."
Elliott, however, said the win didn't truly set in until she returned to her dorm room at Fargo and was able to let it sink in.
"I just laid down and reflected on just everything," said Elliott. "The whole (team New York state) camp, the tournament and that's when it came to me. 'Oh, I'm really a national champ.'"
For Randall, the win represents more for Elliott than just another wrestling accolade.
"This idea that we've been working for is believing in yourself and realizing you belong to be on this platform," said Randall. "Realizing that these lights and these crowds are here for you because you're talented."
Since being founded in 2005, BTS has pioneered a movement that now includes 150 individual wrestling programs, a youth league and the first girls high school league.
To help BTS continue to provide a positive impact on New York City youth like Alessandra, please donate to the Year-End campaign today.