Lehigh swimmers Ann Foley (senior, first team), Natalie Martin (freshman, second team), Glen Lasco (senior, second team) and Owen Thomas (senior, second team) were all named to All-Patriot League teams for the 2021-22 season. The Brown and White spoke with Martin, Lasco and Thomas about their conference honors.
Q: What does being named to an All-Patriot League team mean to you?
Glen Lasco: It feels really good. I am honored to be able to represent Lehigh on the Patriot League level, especially in swimming. We might not be the most dominant team in the league, but it means a lot to me to be able to put my name up there with some of the stronger schools and be able to represent Lehigh on that level.
Owen Thomas: The Patriot League has a lot of really talented teams in it. Lehigh is middle of the row because we have some really high-power teams like Navy and Army. To have made it into the selection for the second team meant a lot to me because I know there are a lot of incredibly talented athletes in our conference.
Natalie Martin: I think it is very exciting for me. As a freshman, I really didn’t even know that All-Patriot League nominations were a thing so it was a good surprise. I definitely feel a lot of pressure now because I want to continue to do well for the next three years. I feel like for the most part though, it’s good pressure because I have a benchmark for myself and where I could potentially be in my career three years from now.
Q: To what/whom do you attribute to achieving an honor like All-Patriot League?
GL: I attribute this honor to the everyday grind I go through with my teammates. A lot of my success on this team is because of them. It was definitely an up-and-down season for me, and without the guys that I train with I could not have gotten through it. Even on the days that I felt like I wanted to give up, they were there for me and grinding with me.
OT: It is what I did before the season even started that helped me achieve this. With COVID-19, I know a lot of people were impacted by the fact that we didn’t have access to facilities like pools or gyms and that affected me too – I didn’t swim at all my junior year. So, I told myself that I would come back really strong senior year and I went out of my way to make sure that I was in the best shape I could possibly be in. I knew it was my last year and I wanted to leave everything in the pool and that is what I did.
NM: Honestly, I have to give the credit to my teammates. They are the reason that I go to practice every single day. I race them, I train with them and they keep me motivated. I give them so much credit for pushing me and supporting me.
Q: How do you stay motivated and continue to push yourself as a Division I athlete?
GL: Swimming is just tough in general because it is just you in your head. In order to get through it and perform, you always have to have a goal in mind to work toward. My key driver to competing at the level that I did this season was always Patriots and pushing during training so that I would perform well.
OT: In a lot of ways, as a D-I athlete you push yourself subconsciously. I have been an athlete pretty much since I was four years old, so all of the commitments that come with that have been a part of my life as long as school has been. So, in a lot of ways, I subconsciously know how to prioritize my time, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard. You do what you have to do.
NM: As a freshman, this is a whole new environment for me. I had never trained like this or even lifted in high school. This is all new and exciting, so it was easy to stay engaged. I think that might be a challenge that I face in the future, like trying to stay motivated even when I know the routines and what to expect. If that does happen, I think I will really rely heavily on my teammates to continue pushing me.
Q: If you could achieve anything in your sport, what would it be? If you already achieved it, what was your biggest goal?
GL: I am thinking about taking my fifth year next year and if I end up doing it, my dream would be to get to NCAA’s. That is my goal and that is what I am working toward. After that, I am still planning on swimming because I am thinking about joining the Navy, so I hope that swimming could help me train for that.
OT: Being named to an All Patriot League team was definitely a huge goal of mine. The bigger one, however, was being selected for the All-Athletic team. For me, it shows me that I am encompassing what it means to be a student-athlete and that meant a lot to me.
NM: After being at Patriots and seeing Ann Foley place top three in some of her events and make it onto the podium, I realized that is something I want to accomplish. That is definitely my ultimate goal by the end of my career. I want to be able to make it to the top three and stand on that podium and be able to represent Lehigh well.