Lauren Mayo | Senior | Elkhorn South High School
Swimming is a way of life for Elkhorn South senior Lauren Mayo. “Swimming has brought me a bit of stability, so I center my life around it emotionally, too,” she said. “It gives me a purpose besides working hard in school.” Mayo started swimming because she needed an outlet for all her energy. “I was a high-energy little eight-year-old and needed something to do over the summer.” She loved it so much she started training year-round and hasn’t stopped.
Mayo swims for the Elkhorn High School swim team, which combines both Elkhorn and Elkhorn South students. She also swims with many of the same students and coaches year-round for the Aquatic Club of Elkhorn (ACE). “I’ve known a lot of my teammates for seven or eight years now, and I’ve been with my coach for just as long, so it’s like my second family,” she said. “My brother also swims for our club team. So my life and my family revolve around swimming, and I love it.”
Her team has some fun traditions, such as having donut eating competitions at the end of practice. For example, for birthdays, they line up at the sides of the lanes with giant kickboards and splash as much as they can while the birthday person has to swim through it and back.
Elkhorn High School and ACE swim coach, Jay Thiltgen, believes that Lauren’s “tenacity and constant chase to be better” make her stand out. At the recent Nebraska State Swimming & Diving Championships, Mayo swam the 200 Free in 1:53.62 to become the 2020 High School Women’s 200 Free Champion. In the 100 Free she placed 3rd with a time of 52.76. She also led off the 400 Free Relay to place 3rd with a time of 3:32.99 just behind Lincoln Southwest and Marian. Her 200 Free Relay placed 4th.
Mayo aspires to swim in the Olympics someday. “Being able to see the Olympic trials in person, you get the feeling that this is what I want, this is where I need to be.” Mayo plans to major in biochemical engineering, but she’s still waiting to hear from some universities before she commits for next year. Undoubtedly, she will be swimming wherever she goes.