Junior Ally J. JansonEDWARDSVILLE - Junior Ally J. Janson has made amazing progress as a student/athlete over the past three years on the Edwardsville High School girls swim/dive team. She has become one of the top swimmers on an exceptionally talented team coached by Christian Rhotten and Brooke Osborn.

For Ally’s efforts in the fall 2020 season, she has been selected as the RiverBender.com Athlete of the Month for Edwardsville High School.

Ally provided an immediate salute to her coaches, parents, and teammates for pushing her along the way to develop into the talented swimmer and team leader she is today.

"I would like to mention my swim coaches as they always push me at practice to become the best swimmer I can be," Janson said. "I would also like to thank our workout coach, Eric Hudson, for his amazing company that has led to drastic improvements in our times as a team and his positivity that always motivates me to have a mindset like his.

"I would also like to mention my parents and teammates for the large amount of constant support they give. They have all pushed me to become a stronger and better person. I have a solid team of support behind me and I wouldn’t want it any other way."

Ally said swimming has led her to become a much more positive person not only physically, but mentally stronger.

"Getting into a cold pool at 7 a.m. while it’s 30 degrees outside isn’t always easy," Ally Janson said.

At the beginning of the season, along with a handful of other girls, Ally was chosen to be on the Leadership team for our workout program, Swim Strong Dryland and she considered that an honor.

"Being on this leadership team has really helped me step forward as a leader on the team," Ally said. "I try to motivate the girls and have a positive attitude that radiates out to them. I was also chosen to do the social media aspect on behalf of the high school team for Swim Strong Dryland. I get to take videos of us working out, edit, and post them to inspire and show our dedication as a team to other swimmers."

Ally has been a lifeguard and taught swim lessons at the YMCA for just over a year.

At the present, the Edwardsville junior is undecided about swimming in college.

"I have been looking at a handful of colleges including the University of Iowa, which is where my mom graduated," she said.

Ally said she does not have a specific major picked out but that her career will hopefully involve working with little kids in a medical field.

“I have always loved kids and being a swimmer has led me to do swim lessons with little kids,” she said. “I fell in love with giving lessons to these kids and I see myself focusing on kids in my future.”

Recently, Ally was inducted into the Spanish Honors Society.

“This is also my first year taking honors classes which I am in two honors and an AP class,” she said.

The Edwardsville junior is an outstanding overall athlete and played high-level softball for 10 years, including time with a select travel team - the Black Widows.

“I decided it was time to pick swimming to focus on through high school as both sports were year-round,” she said.

This season marks Ally's eighth year of competitive swimming. She said what she loves most about the sport, especially as she has gotten older, is the strong bonds she has created with teammates.

"There's no better feeling than your teammates giving you a pep talk, seeing them cheer you on during the race or the hug you get to congratulate you at the end," Ally said.

"I also love the feeling of accomplishment. Last season, I was a part of the winning sectionals relay team that qualified for state. I still vividly remember the feeling I had looking up at the scoreboard and seeing a “1” next to our lane; realizing we had just made it to state."

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