For Martins Ferry's Shannon Lewis, choosing her college future was strictly about academics.
The fact that she gets to extend her swimming career at the next level is a very nice added bonus.
Lewis formally signed a National Letter of Intent to continue her academic and swimming careers at Alderson-Broaddus College in Phillipi, W.Va.. Next season will mark the Battlers' first time to offer a swimming program.
"I chose A-B to not only to continue competitive swimming, but to get a good education," Lewis said. "Alderson-Broaddus is a very academic-driven school and I see myself having many opportunities to have a successful future."
During her four-year career with the Lady Riders, Lewis was a significant contributor, swimming primarily in the 100 breaststroke, 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and on the medley and freestyle relays.
"Shannon was a vital part of the success we've had the last four seasons," said Purple Riders' swim coach Nick Levi. "Shannon was our number one breaststroker."
Lewis continually improved her times and efforts during her prep career. She was a seven-time district qualifier and a three-time district placer. She also played a big role in the Lady Riders' claiming the 2010 OVAC title. All told, she was an 11-time OVAC placer.
She's a member of the 200 medley relay team, which established a school record. Lewis' 100 breaststroke time of 1:21.55 is second all time in Purple Riders' history.
"A big part of her progression in the pool can be pointed to her dedication outside of the pool," Levi said. "Shannon was one of the hardest workers in the weight room which is directly correlated to her improvement in the sprint freestyles.
"I am really proud of her that she plans to take her swimming to the next level," Levi continued. "Her best swimming days are in front of her and I expect her to flourish at A-B."
Along with swimming, Lewis has taken part in cheering and track for three years.
Away from the pool, Lewis was very active at Martins Ferry. She's a member of the National Honor Society, Chy-Phy, Student Council Vice President, French Club. Plus, she volunteers with the American Cancer Society, American Red Cross and at East Ohio Regional Hospital.
Shannon, who is the daughter of Cheryl Lewis, plans on majoring in nursing at A-B.
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