A wave of foaming water explodes around senior Lauren Reed as she strains towards the pool wall, fingertips away from finishing her speciality, the 50 freestyle that lasted only 26.22 seconds for her personal record at the PAC 7 finals held May 14. Shivering in a breeze that sends jackets fluttering, Reed lifts herself over the edge of the pool, plucks her goggles from her face, and walks back to the comfort of a warm towel and teammate’s hugs, who congratulate her.
As well as swimming, Reed has played 26 varsity water polo games during the 14-15 season with an average of about 1.3 goals per game. She also holds a Player of the Year for water polo and received the team-voted Lion’s Club award. Reed’s real passion, however, is serving her community. She has used her fluency in Spanish to teach both senior citizens and children, and she has spread her Christian faith by leading 37 young children on camping trips and craft activities. Reed will travel to Costa Rica this summer on a mission trip, acting as a translator for 120 Bribri Indians.
Reed’s senior year involved competitive swimming, leading varsity water polo as team captain, and tutoring young students at Oak Park, all while maintaining a 4.33 GPA. Locating Reed throughout her jam-packed day is like a scavenger hunt. Is she deep in pool training before the sun comes up, or after school racking up 6000 yards of laps? Perhaps she is found studying the muscles of a cat in the highly challenging dissection segment in Anatomy? Reed is often in the library after school tutoring students in English, math, and biology. If she is finally getting a little down-time, one might spot Reed in the quad near the brick planters, known as the “swimmer’s spot,” where about 20 aquatic athletes socialize under the shade of two trees.
Water polo was the first high school sport Reed joined her sophomore year and she excelled. She then became co-water polo captain along with senior Lauren Sowerby her senior year and is known throughout the team as a kind and caring leader, according to friend and teammate senior Megan Ford. Once water polo season ended her sophomore year, she dove into varsity swim and found her best events: the 50 and 100 freestyle. She qualified for CIF in the 400 relay at a 56.00 seconds this year.
Reed’s personality makes her a favorite classmate among peers. Her most noticeable quality is her laugh, which is playfully described as a “…great laugh, like a squeaky hiccup!”, by anatomy teacher Jon-Paul Ewing. Ewing also compliments her as an, “awesome person, hard worker, [and has a] great personality.”
Reed’s personality also travels to the deep side of the pool.
“I never realized how fun it was to beat people up until I did water polo”, said Reed, with her signature laugh while remembering her first water polo try out.
Reed’s junior Physics teacher, Mark Fairbank, noticed Reed helping fellow students with difficult concepts and leading the class.
“She [has] wonderful interactions with children, as well as her peers and adults,” Fairbank said.
This fall, Reed will attend private Christian college Biola University, located in Southern California. She will major in Liberal Studies with a minor in Spanish. Reed is looking forward to joining the cheese club and Intramural sports, such as ultimate frisbee and flag football. Reed wants to teach at the first grade level abroad in Spain, Argentina, and other Spanish speaking countries during and after college.
Reed has positively affected the lives of friends, teachers, and students throughout high school and will certainly continue in the future. Fairbank says it best by stating his, “…wish for the world is have more people be kind-hearted as Lauren is. She is a real blessing to those she meets.”