NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ -- As part of the first group of female wrestlers ever to compete for New Providence High School, Noran Elmahroukey is a trail blazer of sorts.
A world-class performer in judo who has aspirations of competing in the 2024 Olympics in that event, Elmahroukey has also made a sizable impact in wrestling in her first year in the sport at New Providence. She won at 125 pounds in the Buc Girls Classic at Red Bank High School in January, and also won in the Queen of the East Tournament in Pennsauken in December.
She recently returned from a long weekend in Denmark participating in a global judo competition.
Noran Elmahroukey is the Joe Eberle Weichert Realtors Pioneer Athlete of the Week.
"Noran's got a 20-1 record on the girls side and has also wrestled once on the boys side," New Providence wrestling coach Shane Mallory said. "She is our only senior girl, but we have three other underclass girls on the team. She has been a lot of fun to coach because she listens, is highly coachable and learns very quickly. The ability to learn and be so coachable can be attributed to her long time as a combat athlete prior to deciding to wrestle this year."
Elmahroukey took time this week to respond to some questions from TAPinto New Providence.
Q: How did you become interested in wrestling?
A: My brother was a successful wrestler in high school and he would talk to coach Mallory about me and my judo, and they came up with the idea that i should join. Almost every day they would talk to me about joining for about two years because i didn’t really like the idea very much at first. But coach Mallory was very motivated and enthusiastic in having me join and he got three other girls to join. The girls would also text me and talk to me about joining as well, which eventually made me give in and join.
Q: Can you talk about some of the challenges you've faced breaking into a male-dominated sport?
A: It was definitely awkward at first and I wasn’t very comfortable telling people I was on the wrestling team because it is a male-dominant sport, but it got better with time. I’m still not super comfortable telling people I do wrestling, but it’s definitely better.
Q: What has been the best advice you have received from a coach?
A: The best advice I have ever received was to believe in myself and my capabilities, because at the end of the day it doesn’t matter how many people believe in me or how much, all that matters is how much I believe in myself when I step onto the mat.
Q: What has been your most memorable match to date?
A: My most memorable wrestling match was in the finals of my tournament in Elizabeth. The girl was coming at me super aggressive and the fight got a little dirty as we kept hitting each other’s heads. Then I just used my judo and threw her and pinned her, and it was a big upset from her team, but we were very happy. It was a tough match with a tough girl overall and I ended up getting the most outstanding award after the match, which was cool.
Q: You are also involved in judo. Can you describe your background in judo?
A: I’ve been doing judo since the age of 6. I started judo the same way as I started wrestling, because of my brother. The first time I stepped onto the mat I instantly fell in love with the sport and nothing has been able to keep me off. I’ve traveled all around the world competing and training. I won some really big tournaments and my world ranking was #1 at one point in my weight and age division. I’m working on getting back and better now in judo, because I have been out for almost a year because of my recent injury and I’ll focus more on it after the wrestling season.
Q: What are your plans after high school?
A: I plan on pursuing my judo career and bringing a gold medal for the U.S. in the Paris 2024 Olympics and the 2028 Olympics. It’s been my ultimate dream since the age of 6, and what drives me to become the best version of myself on and off the mat. I plan on graduating from a good college as well, and I’ve been accepted already into a lot of respectable colleges. A lot of athletes in judo don’t take their education seriously because at a certain level it becomes super time consuming and exhausting, and I want to help change that and show that with a lot of determination and hard work it's possible to balance both and be successful.
Q: What do you like most about New Providence High School?
A: I think I like wrestling the most about NPHS, which is shocking to say because I never thought I would ever do wrestling or even participate in a school sport. The teammates get closer to family everyday and the coaches are amazing. Practices are always hard, and getting me into better shape, which is also great for judo. The coaches don’t take it easy on us, which is something I’m grateful for and deeply respect.
Q: Who is your favorite athlete?
A: My favorite athlete is a Korean judoka named Jeon Ki Young. I love the way he fights, and his techniques are very similar to mine and it is how I aspire to be one day.
Q: Do you have a role model?
A: My mother is my role model. I have never met someone as caring, supportive and determined as she is. She is the definition of a hard worker and always pushes me to be my best in all aspects of life. I’m really lucky to have the parents I have and I would not be successful as I am and plan to be without them.
The Joe Eberle Weichert Realtors Pioneer Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Joe Eberle Weichert Realtors located at 64 Main Street in Chatham. Joe is a 25 year New Providence resident who is an active member of the New Providence community. Contact Joe anytime, whether it's to get started on helping you realize your real estate goals and dreams, or just to ask a question about the local market. Joe can be reached at email@example.com or call 908-868-4800.