Lyndsey Allen is competitive, almost too competitive she says. But she has never considered herself an athlete. Not, at least, how she sees them.
But Allen is most definitely an athlete. And she's a terrific student.
She was captain of the alpine team this winter. She played as the Vikings No. 1 singles tennis player in the fall. And the lowest grade she remembers getting in high school was a B-minus.
It's the perfect combination that helped Allen become the Tahoe Daily Tribune's Student Athlete of the Month for February.
"I'm pretty excited actually to be named athlete of the month," Allen said. "I was surprised to hear I was nominated, I guess I never really considered myself an athlete. But it's a really nice surprise."
South Tahoe head coach Barbra Bedwell thinks Allen is the perfect choice. She watched Allen compete this season and saw first-hand how she became a team leader.
"Lyndsey is just a kind, wonderful young lady, plus an excellent racer," Bedwell said. "She really put a lot of time into being a team leader this year and was voted as the girls' captain. The other racers really looked up to her. She always has a smile on her face, but never hesitates to work hard."
Allen helped the Vikings qualify for the state meet with a bunch of solid finishes. One race that stands out is her second slalom run Jan. 25 at Heavenly Mountain Resort. It showed her competitive side.
Allen missed a gate on her first run, but hiked back uphill to get it and record a time.
She used that to fuel her second run where she was sixth fastest down the mountain. She finished 13th that day, but that was her best single timed run of the season.
But Allen remembers the feeling when she reached the starting gate for the final time. She flashed back to the bonds and friendships she has built with her teammates. She knew skiing wasn't going to take her to the Olympics. So she made sure to remember her senior year.
"The last race was definitely different," Allen said. "It hit me at the start gate of my last race. It was an emotional experience. We've always been a super close team. I knew I wasn't going to go anywhere with skiing, so for my senior year I wanted to focus on taking it all in and having fun with it. I was more relaxed this year."
Allen plans to travel to Southern California after she graduates to attend San Diego Mesa Community College for two years and then transfer into UC San Diego.
That's far away from the Sierra Nevada, but she's excited for the change after being born and raised in South Lake Tahoe.
"I'm gonna travel to the beach for a bit to see something other than mountains," Allen said. "But I'm going to come back eventually. I'm sure I'll miss it."
When the snow melts, Allen likes to play tennis, hike and go to the beach and "just doing anything outdoors, because Tahoe is so beautiful," she said.
Allen, along with the male student athlete of the month and teammate Luke Allen, gets high praise from Bedwell.
"These two athletes are incredible young people, and I couldn't be happier to have them on my team," Bedwell said. "Both of them exemplify sportsmanship. They're highly competitive, but never allow that to get in the way of their friendships and attitude."