Iroquois' Allison Lenda is off to a fast start.
The state meet qualifier picked up right where she left off last season by winning the 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke and leading off the victorious 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays at the Frewsburg Invitational on Saturday as the Chiefs took first place in eight of 12 events.
For her standout performance, Lenda has been recognized as the Prep Talk Female Athlete of the Week.
Events: Freestyle and backstroke
Coach Michael O'Connor on Lenda: "Allison is a great competitor and she brings that competitiveness to the whole team. She loves to win and is always motivated to improve. She continues to swim her best when needed and is a true in-the-water leader. She is a very hard worker, and along with her lane mates junior Alex Wheeler, senior Lauren Willitt, senior Sarah Mertzlufft and eighth-grader Melanie White, our team looks to continue the great successes they have achieved over the past five years. We've only lost two meets in her five years, winning the division four years. It's a testament to girls like Allison who bring in that work ethic and competitiveness daily into our practices and meets."
How has your season gone so far?: The Frewsburg Invitational was our first meet before dual meets started on Sept. 12. Our team swam really well at the Frewsburg meet so I can’t wait to see what the season brings. We're off to a solid start so I am excited.
Highlight of athletic career so far: I have two. Last year, all three Iroquois relays made it to the New York State Championships. Not many teams can do that so it was a great accomplishment. I also broke one minute in the 100 backstroke.
Favorite thing about my sport: My favorite thing about swimming is having to constantly push myself and my teammates, and eventually being able to beat your best times and achieving goals over the course of the season. It is an individual sport but we treat it as a team sport first. We push each other every day and we all have an opportunity to achieve our goals. We wouldn’t be as good as we are without each other. The lane I am in works so hard every day for each other. That's really important.
Favorite teammate: I honestly love my whole team. They’re like my family, but one person who has been there to help me through it all is senior captain Lauren Willitt. She is a great friend who I can always count on and she’s always there to push me and make me a better swimmer.
Toughest opponent: In our division, our toughest opponent is Starpoint. In the past few years the division has come down to the Starpoint vs. Iroquois meet. We are very similar teams and it’s a nice challenge to face them.
Pro/college athlete I admire now: I admire Katie Ledecky because she is an amazing swimmer who has world records and gold medals, but she’s also a super nice person with an incredible work ethic. She earns everything she gets through her daily work in practice.
Favorite school subjects: Math and science.
What’s ahead (athletics and/or academics): I'd like to keep pushing myself in swimming and in my academics. I’m just starting the college process now so I haven’t decided which college or major yet, but I would love to continue to swim in college.
Coaches can nominate athletes of the week by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Saturday night.