This year, Lewis & Clark has continued a three-season streak of freshman athletes being named the Northwest Conference (NWC) Freshman of the Year.
Madeline Swanberg ’23 has been an asset to the LC cross country team all season. In addition to being a consistent top finisher, Swanberg was named the NWC Freshman of the Year at the championships on Nov. 2.
Swanberg has been running since her first year of high school but was not formally recruited to run for LC.
“(LC’s track and field program) was in the process of switching to a new coach so there wasn’t really anyone actively recruiting,” Swanberg said. “I did talk to the head track coach a couple of times but running wasn’t a deciding factor in where I went to school.”
Swanberg has enjoyed improving her times personally and as a team. At the regional meet on Nov. 16 she placed in the top 35, and the team finished ninth overall for women.
“Overall the season has gone really well — I’ve improved my 5K time a lot and also run some of my first 6K (races),” Swanberg said. “I was also the top freshman in the conference which was really exciting.”
Delsie Johnson ’22 received this same title for women’s basketball last February.
Though the swim team did not do as well as hoped overall, Johnson remained a strong player throughout the season, playing in 21 games and scoring a career-high of 25 points in a game against Willamette University last January.
“Getting (the title) last year and then coming into this year I feel like there’s more responsibility,” Johnson said. “I did really well last year so I want to continue that. It gives me confidence knowing that I have the ability to perform like that.”
This season, Johnson hopes to continue developing her skills and playing at the high level she reached last year.
Kamryn Ford ’22 was the freshman of the year in women’s golf last year. During her freshman season, Ford had six consecutive top-20 finishes in tournaments and placed 13th at the NWC championships.
Ford looks forward to continuing to grow as a player this year.
“While I am proud of this accomplishment, I very much hope to improve in my coming seasons and perform to the best of my abilities for the team,” Ford said via email. “I (hopefully) see myself in the top three (individually) in the coming conference tournaments.”
Rachel Rice ’22 was named freshman of the year in women’s tennis last season. Rice, a serious tennis player since middle school, was excited and inspired to be given the title.
As a first-year student, Rice was 5-3 in singles matches and 5-5 in doubles.
“In the future, I am definitely motivated to work hard this year and get better as a player individually and as a teammate,” Rice said. “I hope to be winning more matches in straight sets and also improving my doubles games.”
LC hopes to continue the trend of outstanding freshman athletes in their coming seasons.