Seventeen-year-old Lexie Malazdrewicz will tell you that she is “just a 17-year-old girl.” One that likes hanging out with her friends and going to the pool during the summer, but tanning is what Malazdrewicz does at the pool when she’s not setting records in the pool.
For the past eight years, Malazdrewicz has been making waves in the swim world, setting records and capturing titles — both as a club and high school swimmer. But, according to her, she never sets out to shatter records. She just swims hard to beat her own time.
Malazdrewicz, a rising senior at Evergreen High School, is the repeat 4A state champion in the 200- and 500 freestyle. She’s also the Canyon Courier’s 2011-12 Athlete of the Year.
She set the 4A state record this year in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1 minute, 49.31 seconds and the 50 00 freestyle in 4:54.65. Malazdrewicz also helped Evergreen set the 4A state record in 400 freestyle relay (3:33.24) as her team’s anchor.
During the past three years, she has won five individual state titles, and she’s not done yet.
Her hard work and dedication will be put to the tests where she heads to Omaha, Neb. on June 25 for the U.S. Olympic Trials. Going to the Olympics is like reaching the summit Mount Everest — it’s not easily achieved. For many it’s the ultimate goal, not for Malazdrewicz though.
She never set out to go to the Olympics. It just sort of happened that way as she kept competing in and setting records at bigger meets.
“Swimming is a team sport because in the long run you are trying to help your team out. However, it’s also an individual’s progression,” Malazdrewicz said. “You can’t compare yourself to any other people. I always try to shoot for my best ability because all that matters is you and the clock.”
Giving credit to her coaches and bringing her team honor rounds out the joy she gets from swimming.
“I have such great coaches and I love all of the swimmers on my team,” said Malazdrewicz, who also says she wouldn’t be who she is today without her family’s support.
“I have made such good friends from swimming,” including fellow Olympic hopeful Missy Franklin.
But her humble attitude prevents her from boasting about her own achievements or name-dropping.
“You know,” said Malazdrewicz’s club coach, Jeff Armstrong, “Missy (Franklin) is a great swimmer. Maybe the best in the world right now. But if she is No. 1 then Lexie is certainly No. 2, and I am really proud of her.”
2010-11: Bryn Haebe, Evergreen, runner
OTHERS WORTH MENTIONING
Ashley Perry, Sr., gymnastics
— Perry came back from injury in her junior year to win the 4A all-around championship, the first in Evergreen history. She also won the state title in the uneven bars and the vault.
Maura O'Brien, Sr., runner
— O’Brien won the 4A Jeffco League and a regional championship in cross country. She had three top-10 finishes at the state track and field championships, including the 1,600 meters.
Braden Olson, Sr., Athlete
— Olson played six varsity sports in 2011-12, including football, golf and soccer in the fall. He qualified for the 4A state golf tournament and was a key player for the boys lacrosse team.