Maddie Wessell, freshman swimmer at John Burroughs is the MVP Athlete of the Week this week. She narrowly edged out Jimmy Carney, a senior basketball player, also of Burroughs.
This is what she told to Patch.
Ladue-Frontenac Patch: College is a long way off but swimmers like to be planning ahead. Any ideas?
Maddie Wessell: I am only a freshman but my aspiration is to attend Stanford or Cal Berkeley.
Patch: How is your season going so far?
MW: Our season is going pretty well. JBS girls swimming is well positioned in several events heading into state finals in two weeks.
I also compete with FAST Swim Club in South County and will be competing in Sectionals in Tulsa, OK and NCSA Junior Nationals in Orlando, FL. Coach Leslie Kehr from JBS and Coach Ian Cross from FAST have been terrific, working together this season, and helping me to become a better swimmer. I am so grateful to both of them.
Patch: What do you like best about being on the swim team?
MW: Representing my school and being part of JBS athletics has been such a positive experience. I love the camaraderie shared with my teammates.
We are all are supportive of one another. Coach Kehr is an inspirational and motivational leader, and the entire JBS school community has been encouraging, rallying around us and coming out to the meets.
Patch: Please comment on any special accomplishments this season so far.
Our 4x 50 relay team is in second place in the state. I am currently in first place in the state in the 100 Free; second in the 200 IM; third in the 50 Free and 100 back and fifth in the 100 Fly and 500 Free.
I’m excited to head to state not only with my own events, but also with my friends on the relay team and my really great friend Barrett Carlson who has qualified for two individual events.
Patch: Which athlete do you admire the most, and why?
MW: I admire Lolo Jones. She was raised in abject poverty, often homeless with her father incarcerated and mother working several jobs to support the family. Lolo struggled and sacrificed to become one of the greatest women hurdlers / track stars in the world.
She earned a full scholarship to LSU, several NCAA titles, World Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championship titles, and then represented the USA in two Olympics. Through her many trials and tribulations, she continued to work hard, stay focused, remain positive and is always gracious. I admire her tenacity and talent very much.
Patch: What is your favorite tune in your I-Pod these days?
MW: I love listening to anything by Green Day or My Chemical Romance.
The balloting will begin for week No. 7 on Monday.