Lindley Armel Spotlight

Athlete Spotlight: Sherando High School girls' swimmer Lindley Armel

Sherando High School 17-year-old senior

Sport: Swimming. Events: Multiple individual strokes and relays

Parents: Richard and Julie Armel

Hometown: Stephens City

What do you love about swimming: I love the people that I meet and overall the atmosphere that can be brought in. It's a very positive place to be. It's a great way to de-stress with everything that's going on.

Most memorable moment in swimming: It was my freshman year and we were trying to get a state cut in our 400 free relay. It was a meet that Coach Joe [Knight] didn't expect much from any of us. He was like, 'Oh go in and do your best.' Then the four [also Kyra Schultz, Emma De Jong and Jordyn Jones] of us on our relay were like, 'Oh my gosh, we made the state cut by one or two seconds.' It was the joy we got from that.

Most embarrassing moment in swimming: I'd have to say it was in eighth grade and I was in a meet at Virginia Tech. It's a double pool, so they had boys and girls going on in two separate pools. I was looking at the wrong event number and I was looking at the boys' pool. I was like, 'I have so much time to warm up and be ready.' And then me and about four other girls missed the 200 fly. We were all very upset and we were crying because we were like, 'Oh my gosh, our coach is going to kill us.' It makes me laugh every time I think about it. I've never missed another event.

Most difficult moment in swimming: It's mental toughness and coming back from injury. I had to come back from an injury my freshman year. I was on the relay and after I got injured I couldn't perform as fast I did previously so I got replaced. It made me think, 'OK, I've got to work two times as hard.'

Three people you can have dinner with, dead or alive: Michelle Obama, she was the African-American First Lady and she just was very strong. The room paid attention to her when she walked in and I'd like to learn some tricks and tips from her; Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she's very short like me and she is so smart and she spoke very strongly about equality with women and anybody else; My grandfather who passed away when I was 1 and he's my namesake (Robert Lindley Bruce). Every time someone says, 'Oh Lindley, you do something your grandfather would love,' I want to just meet him now that I'm older and see how much alike we are.

Biggest athletic influences: The coaches at Valley Swim Team Phoenix who train and encourage me; James Frisby at FASST who got me into weight training and inspires me to keep getting stronger; and former Clarke County High School swimmer Stephanie Miller who I swam with for years in summer league. She was a great role model, athlete, and friend who got me involved in coaching Special Olympics swim athletes.

Who are your favorite teachers: I really like Miss [Jill] Saylor. I've had her three years for my science classes. I think of her as a teacher, but also as a friend. She doesn't beat around the bush. She gets straight forward to a point. ... And she's also kind and caring for others and doesn't pick any favorites. ... Dr. [Susan] Saylor; they're sisters actually. I've had Dr. Saylor for honors chemistry and AP chemistry. Yet again, she's another person who doesn't like to beat around the bush. They are similar but different. She's also very smart.

Favorite athlete: Michael Phelps

Favorite sports team: Team USA for the Olympics

Favorite movie: “The Post”

Favorite TV show: “The Vampire Diaries”

Favorite song: Anything from the album "Fine Line" by Harry Styles

Favorite food: Anything that has bacon on it.

Worst thing you’ve eaten: Raw oysters. Something about the texture just didn't sit right.

Plans after high school: I intend on going to a four-year college. I don't know where yet. I want to study pre-veterinary and then get my doctorate in veterinary medicine. I've just always liked animals. ... I've wanted to be a vet for like five or six years now. I like animals better than people.

— Compiled by Walt Moody

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