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Sports February 2011

www.thewestwordonline.com

Athletes of the Month

46

Anne Hawthorn calls the shots Michelle Morales Staff Writer

Senior girls’ basketball tricaptain Anne Hawthorn averages about nine rebounds and 10 points per game. With a 9-6 record this season and her last high school games approaching, Hawthorn is trying to motivate her team and herself to perform at their best before the end of the season. She plans on continuing to play basketball after high school. The Westword: When did you start playing basketball? Anne Hawthorn: I started when I was seven at Stamford Youth then moved on to [play Stamford] travel basketball and then entered AAU [Amateur Athletic Union] and then entered high school basketball. TW: What made you start playing? AH: I grew up with older brothers that were always involved in sports. I remember one day they

were playing basketball and I joined them, and ever since then I fell in love with the game. TW: Do you play any other sports other than basketball? Yes, volleyball since my freshman year. TW: How’s the [basketball] team doing this year? AH: We’re having great success this year [and it’s] a lot of fun. We have been doing great with the girls, we’re like a family. It makes playing very enjoyable. TW: How is the team different this year from last year? AH: Last year we weren’t as close or family oriented. This year we’re a lot closer. Team chemistry is better and that shows on the court. TW: Who would be your favorite basketball player ? AH: Amar’e Stoudemire who plays for the [New York] Knicks and Kevin Durant who plays for the [Oklahoma City] Thunder. TW: Do you have siblings that play sports? AH: All my siblings were in

involved in sports such as football, basketball, baseball and lacrosse. TW: Is your family one of your biggest fans? AH: Yes, my mother has been to every single basketball and volleyball game that I’ve played in since I was seven. She has never missed a game and she would have to be one of the loudest people in the stands. My sister as well is a very big fan and enjoys coming to my games. TW: How do you feel about this being your last year playing for Westhill? AH: It’s upsetting playing my last sport in high school and I just play each game like it’s my last. I try to embrace every moment and opportunity that has been given to me. TW: What does it mean to be a captain? AH: You have to take some sort of leadership. It means a lot because sometimes the captain has to step up to go the extra mile.

why? KS: My favorite event is the 500 [yard freestyle]. It’s a long and tough event, but once you get in the zone and have the right mindset, it feels like nothing can stop you. My least favorite event is probably the 100 [yard] breaststroke, mainly because I haven’t gotten used to it yet. TW: What do you to stay in shape during the offseason? KS: In our offseason I try to stay in shape by running and going to the gym. I’ve also started to watch what I eat by trying to eat much healthier foods. TW: What is your favorite aspect of swimming at Westhill? KS: I enjoy championship season because our team starts swimming much better, and we usually swim our best times during championship season. [Swimming our best times] is always really satisfying. TW: What inspires you to swim at such a high level? KS: My love for the sport is what inspires me to swim at a high level. When I’m in a tight race, I just give it everything I have. My coach and teammates always push me to move forward

and practice harder, and my parents have done an amazing job supporting me along the way. TW: What awards or accolades have you received throughout your career at Westhill? KS: I came in fourth in the [500 yard freestyle at the] FCIAC tournament last year, and sixth in the [500 yard freestyle at the] State LL meet. I’m looking to do even better in the future. TW: Do you plan on swimming competitively after high school? KS: I am looking forward to swimming in college. I saw a lot of my brother’s college meets and I like the diversity of the events, ranging from the 50 yard events up to the mile race. It seems fun and different from what we do at Westhill. TW: How do you balance athletics with your schoolwork? KS: Swimming has always been a big part of my life, and I usually get back from practice or meets at around 6:00 p.m. After I eat dinner, I have all night to get my work done. Sometimes I Ariel Shaulson / Photo Editor spend all night studying and fin- STROKES OF SUCCESS With a 6-1 team record so far, ishing up work, but it’s worth it junior swimmer Kareem Saleh and the team seem to have in the end. high hopes of excelling this season.

Ariel Shaulson / Photo Editor

NOTHING BUT NET Senior Anne Hawthorn works on her shot at a practice as the girls’ varsity team prepares for the FCIAC and State tournaments.

Kareem Saleh freestyles to the finish Matt Frederick Viewpoint Editor

Junior Kareem Saleh has been swimming since he was three years old. He has been determined to challenge himself in both his academics and extracurricular activities. Last year, Saleh was awarded a spot on the All-FCIAC team. Saleh’s numerous achievements in the pool have given him high hopes to continue swimming after high school. The Westword: When did you first start swimming? Kareem Saleh: I first started swimming when I was three, but I started swimming seriously and realized I would stay with swimming when I was around eight. TW: What events do you typically swim in? KS: I usually swim the longer events. Since the 500 [yard freestyle] is the longest high school event, I tend to swim in that event, but I also started swimming in different events such as the 100 [yard] backstroke. TW: What are your favorite and least favorite events and


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