Mert Bayturk Dominates on the Mat

Mert Bayturk ’19 (center) won an astounding three heavyweight wrestling championships over three weekends last spring—the Northern New England Championship, the ISL Championships, and the New England Championship. After competing in the 220-pound weight class over the past few years, Mert found his groove this year by competing against other heavyweights (285-pound weight class).

Mert started wrestling the summer before his freshman year at Yaşar Dogu Spor Salonu, a wrestling club in Ankara, Turkey, where he spends the summers with his family. He says what he loves about the sport is that it’s “like a chess game, involving strength and technique.” Before his junior year, he sought outside opportunities to wrestle, establishing a connection with the Dungeon Training Center, a well-known wrestling club in Hanover, Massachusetts.

Mert says he focused on gaining weight by increasing what he ate and lifting weights to move up to the higher weight class. “My mentality about wrestling shifted,” he says. “I have a lot more willpower and desire to push myself. I’m really happy competing at this level.”


The curiosity to ask why and the courage to speak out are qualities that lead to innovation and change. The individuals featured in this issue embody these qualities. Through their questioning, leadership, and willingness to share their views, they are making a difference–in their professions and in the world.