Members of the Lehigh swim and dive team take off during practice. Four members of the team were named to All-Patriot League teams. (Courtesy of Brent Hugo/Lehigh Sports)

Q&A with Lehigh swimming All-Patriot League team


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.

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