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Academy of Notre Dame’s Ashley Kolessar is Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week

Ashley Kolessar

At Easterns, the Academy of Notre Dame sophomore placed second in the 100 breaststroke with an All-American consideration time of 1:03.62 which broke the Delaware County record in this event. She also finished third in the 200 IM, with an automatic All American qualifying time of 2:00.86; split a 29.1 in the breaststroke leg of the medley relay; and led off the 400 free relay in a 52.0, as both Irish relays qualified with an All American consideration time. Academy of Notre Dame swimming coach Brigit Barry said, “Ashley could have swam in almost any event at Easterns and would have placed in the top four spots. She is a hard worker and has a lot of team spirit.” Kolessar currently holds school records in the 100 free, 100 breast, 200 medley relay and 400 free relay.


Q: You currently hold school records in the 100 free, 100 breast, 200 medley relay and 400 free relay. Which record means the most to you and why?


A: I think the 400 free relay record means most to me. Mia [Abruzzo], Natalie [Stuart], Madison [Kolessar] and I all have been working hard all season and it was very special to see how all of our hard work paid off. Especially since we are all so close it was also fun to be on a relay with people I’m such good friends with.


Q: What do you think was your best swim at Easterns, and what was the key to your success that day?


A: I think my best swim at Easterns was my second place in the 100 breast. This was a personal best and all season I have been working hard to get the right tempo and making sure everything is perfect so I could get to the time I wanted and had achieved. I think the key to my success that day was just focusing to not slow down my tempo throughout the race and focus on the actual race when it came to the time.


Q: What is your most vivid memory of Easterns – can you share it with us?


A: One of my most vivid memories of Easterns was when I was cheering on not only my teammate but my sister Madison in the 200 freestyle, as the whole Notre Dame swim team was behind her lane and we all were going crazy cheering her on.


Q: What aspect of your swimming have you been working on the most recently?


A: One aspect of my swimming that I’ve been working on most recently is my tempo in all strokes. In order to keep my 200 IM pace to where I want it to be I need to keep the tempo up and not let it slow down.


Q: Can you walk us through a typical day, or cycle, of training?


A: During a typical week of training on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays I practice from 6:45-9 p.m. after school. On Wednesdays and Fridays, I go right after school and do 30 minutes of dryland then get in the pool from 4:15-6:15 p.m. On Saturdays, I swim from 8-11 a.m. and we have off on Sundays for a recovery day.


Q: Your older sister Madison is also a fine swimmer. Can you share with us what is the most important thing she has taught you?


A: One important thing that my older sister Madison has taught me is that hard work does pay off, even if it isn’t shown all the time. She is one of my biggest inspirations for swimming, so seeing her work hard and do amazing during meets helps me realize that will happen to me also.


Q: What is your favorite swimming venue, and why?


A: One of my favorite swimming venues is the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis, Ind. Every time I walk into the pool, it brings me to the realization that it is going to be a fast meet. The bright lights and huge seating area just makes it so much fun for me and my teammates.


Q: What is your favorite academic course at Academy of Notre Dame? What do you think you’d like to major in at college? Is there a career path that particularly interests you at the present time?


A: One of my favorite academic courses at the Academy of Notre Dame is my Survey of Arts class. The class is always so welcoming and I love trying and testing out new styles of art every time I go to the class. Currently, I am unsure of what I would like to major in at college since it is still a few years away. But one career that has always interested me is marine biology, just something about it that sort of brings me back to my childhood and loving all marine life.


Fun facts – Ashley Kolessar
Favorite TV show: Friends.
Favorite pre-meet pump-up song: Ready or Not by Bridget Mendler.
Favorite place to visit: Cocoa Beach, Fla.

Favorite pre-meet meal: Pasta with butter and chicken on the side.

Person I most admire, and why: “I admire my family the most. This is because when I look at how much we’ve put into this sport and how much they’ve supported me during it. It just is too much and I don’t know where I would be without them.”

Family members: parents Jeff and Michelle, sisters Madison and Kaitlyn.


(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)

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