High Five: Smoky Hill’s Lizzie Wiley


Lizzie Wiley’s lungs are strong and useful, both in and out of the swimming pool.

The 16-year-old Smoky Hill High School junior has qualified for the Class 5A girls state swim meet in her first two seasons and will counted on as a big point-scorer for the Buffaloes this season.

Wiley also contributes to Smoky Hill’s home meets with another talent, singing, as she performs the national anthem before the team hits the water.

In the classroom, Wiley currently sports a 4.7 GPA  and was part of last season’s Smoky Hill team that was a 2011-12 National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) Gold Award winner with a cumulative 3.903 GPA — 11th best in the country. She plans to attend Stanford University.

What is your favorite high school memory, athletically or otherwise?

Everything I do in high school is a great memory! There is no way I could pick a favorite! I have my swimming family, with whom I always have the best times. Then there’s my choir family who always make my day a good day. And I have friends who I ran track with last year that I also was able to create great memories with.

What is the biggest sacrifice you have to make to play your sport?

Definitely sleeping. I wake up at 5 almost every morning so that I can go to morning practice. Morning practice is optional, but like my coach Scott Cohen says, you have the option to get better!.

What’s the best piece of advice ever given to you in sports or in life?

Pma! This stands for positive mental attitude. I’ve learned throughout my 9 years of swimming that a positive attitude is the key to being successful! And this applies to any aspect of life, not just swimming.

Are you a leader? If so, what do you think makes a good leader in yourself or others?

Yes, I think I am a leader. I am super motivated to work hard everyday and I like to think that others see how determined I am to succeed in swimming and then want to work hard themselves as well. I believe the best way to lead is to lead by example.

Do you have any quirks or superstitions when it comes to your sport or in life in general?

For swimming, if my nails don’t have any nail polish on them, I won’t swim well; they always have to have some color, even if it’s just a little!

If you listen to music before a game, what gets you most ready for competition?

I mostly listen to any song that I can jump up and down to so I can get my heart rate up and get excited for the race! But really, I just need to clear my mind from everything because otherwise I will overthink the race and won’t swim well.

What’s a sport you’ve always wanted to try, but haven’t and why haven’t you?

Zorbing! It seems like so much fun! You get into a giant inflatable ball and roll down a hill! How glorious!

If you could pick a person living or dead to spend a day with, who would it be and why?

Probably Natalie Coughlin. She is such a successful person! And at the Olympics this past summer when she only made the 4×100 free relay as an alternate made me admire her more because she kept a positive attitude about it and didn’t let it bring her down.

Other than sports, do you have another true passion in life and if so, what is it and why?

I love to sing! I am in the top choir and a jazz choir at Smoky Hill. I have sung the national anthem at many swim meets in the past few years and it makes the meets that much more enjoyable.

What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?

I really have no idea. I don’t have a plan for my life after high school. I’m just going to go with the flow and do whatever feels right at the time!

Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at 303-750-7555 or [email protected]