June 20, 2019

Sophie Laing refuses to go down without a fight

Matt Rushford ’19, Sports Editor

Sophie Laing (middle) receiving the MIAA women’s wrestling state championship. Laing is the first woman to receive the state title in Wellesley history. (Photo courtesy of Sophie Laing.)

Before every match, Sophie Laing ’19 has one goal: do anything to keep herself off her back. Described as a resilient leader by her teammates, Laing has a name for herself as a wrestler who powers through adversity regardless of what she has to face.

“I always do what I can to make sure I don’t go down,” said Laing. “If that means pulling my arm out of its socket I’ll do it. If it means straining my muscles beyond what I should be capable of I’ll do it…I do it because I want to prove that I can, that I’m a fighter, and that being a fighter is worth something.”

Laing, the first Wellesley woman wrestler to win the 135 weight title, started off the season as the only woman on Wellesley’s wrestling team. However, rather than feeling discouraged, Laing took this as a time to find her own.

“Sophie really showed a talent to persevere through anything,” said team captain Hudson Sewall ’19. “She never took tough losses personally and always fought through. Even without recognition, she continued to put in work, which I think a lot of people looked up to.”

Laing, who has been wrestling for three years, previously played basketball for the high school as a freshman, but quickly realized it wasn’t a good fit for her.

“When I was little I studied kung fu at LINX, which lead me to become a karate teaching assistant for Linx,” said Laing. “This is what originally got me interested in wrestling. When I decided I wouldn’t be playing basketball anymore I joined wrestling just to try something new and keep my fitness up.”

That interest developed into a passion, which helped drive Laing to become a necessary leader on the team.

“I’ve always considered her to be a silent leader,” said team captain Matt Osborne ’19. “She’s never someone who slacked off during practice and always puts a lot of effort in.”

Outside of wrestling, Laing also is an avid ceramic artist and was named the high school’s 3D artist of the month in February.

“Ceramics are interesting to me because it’s fascinating. I can think of something that doesn’t exist and bring it into reality through my sculpting,” said Laing. “Ms. Larson, the ceramics teacher, is an inspiration for me because if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be able to any of the sculpting that I do.”

Through everything she does, Laing has shown resilience and perseverance that shows her strength of character.

“I may not always win my matches, but I’ll always fight, and to prove to everyone that all of the pain is worth it is the best part,” said Laing.

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