WEST PORTSMOUTH — Portsmouth West senior Ashlynn Pfau a large portion of her time in high school on the soccer pitch, on a sideline as a Lady Senator cheerleader and band member, or in the pool.
While her time as a Lady Senator is coming to a close, another opportunity for Pfau to continue swimming at the collegiate level recently became a reality.
In signing to join the women’s swim team at nearby Shawnee State University at her ceremony inside the Portsmouth West HS library, Pfau became the first West student to sign collegiately for swimming as she’ll join the program following her graduation in just a few weeks.
“When I first started swimming, it was something to keep me on a schedule because I’ve done many different sports,” Pfau said. “Being able to swim at the college level was an eye-opening opportunity and one I had to jump on.”
During her four years in high school, Pfau has been a four-yer member of the girls soccer team, a three-year swimmer, and a one-year cross country runner and tennis player.
She has also been a four-year varsity cheerleader and four-year member of the PWHS band.
Pfau said that an opportunity to become the girls swim team team-captain during her junior season by head coach Eric Nichols helped her become a better swimmer and lead her teammates in what it takes to compete during their winter season.
“Over the last three years I’ve really started to love swim. Took over a captain role during my second year on the swim team and it made me have a more-serious approach,” Pfau said. “It was an awesome experience to be apart of the program, playing for Coach Nichols — he really helped me a lot.”
While the heavy class load and sports-filled schedule is enough to keep any high school student busy, Pfau said that the more she was involved in during her time in high school, the more on-pace she kept herself during the school year.
“Sports kept me busy, but I also made a lot of friends with it. It taught me how to be competitive and keep me on a schedule during high school. And I think that’s a reason I did so well academically,” Pfau said. “Over the last few years I’ve improved my skill, and our teams have gotten better and more tight-knit the more we played.”
Pfau finished by saying how appreciative she was of her mother, Davida, because of her support growing up and her time in high school.
“It’s very meaningful. My mom has always been there in everything that I do. To have her here today just makes me happy and lets me know I’m supported.”