Athlete Spotlight: Alli Keith

What brought you to Drew?

It is actually a funny story. Mom and I did a road a college road trip my junior year and we stopped at Drew University. I got a tour of the school and the admission counselor Dustin was able to squeeze me in for an interview. On the tour I thought the school was too small because at that time I had this idea that I wanted to be at a big school and so I put Drew towards the middle of my list. A couple of months after my college road trip my high school hosted a college fair and Dustin was there. When I was walking past the booths, I was a distance from the Drew’s but Dustin called out my name and waved. I walked over and he started asking me about how softball season was going, and listing off my classes that I was really passionate about it, and asked how the book that I was reading at the time of the interview had turned out. I was shocked, not only did he remember my name and face amongst 100 of other high school kids but remember everything about my life. At that moment Drew was bumped up to the top of my list!

What has been the biggest challenge being a student athlete?

Being a student athlete has really made me practice my time management. I had practice at in high school being an all season athlete but when I came to Drew I started working in the Art Department and the Athletics Department as well as joined Anthropology club. The swim team and the coaches were my support team to help me manage everything that I was taking on at Drew.

What do you hope to accomplish, either individually or as a team, before you graduate?

All four years I have wanted to be on the podium at Champs. Rich has really worked with me on this goal. We started strategizing over the summer on how to do this and we came up with the idea of swimming more breastroke and diving. I really am not afraid of very much and am pretty daring on the board so I was willing to give it a try and not only have I had tons of fun but I have learned so much this year.

What are your thoughts on your season so far?

My season had a rough start when I fractured my ankle back in early October and couldn’t start swimming until November and didn’t get back on the board until right before Ranger Invite in December. However even though I had a late start the team has done amazing this year and we have become such a strong and close knit team.

Do you have any interests outside of class? Are you in any clubs or activities on campus?

I am apart of the Anthropology club and was the President the Fall of my junior year, I work for the athletics department and give swim lessons. I also love traveling and have managed to travel to a new country each year that I am at Drew.

Did you study abroad? If so, where?

I went to Ecuador my freshman year with my advisor as a research student. I did the cross cultural writing class to Cuba and I spent last Spring studying abroad in Peru. My favorite part of Peru was actually being able to swim in two glacial lakes in the Andes. We did a hike up to the glacial lakes doing a bird lab on to the first glacier and a second lab studying plants that are limited by their elevation. At the top of each we were given the option to take a dip in the glacial lakes.

How did you first begin swimming?

I started swimming as a freshman in high school for a masters team. My senior year I joined a club team and started competing. At that point I reached out to the Drew swim coach and said that I was interested in swimming in college. I have been swimming for Drew all four years and I am so glad that I have. My two best friends at Drew are also swimmers and all three of us started out as distance swimmers. We struggled together, cheered each other and succeed together all four years.

Do you have any thoughts you would like to share with the Drew community?

I would like to say to the Drew community to challenge yourself while at Drew. There is an amazing support system here that is willing and happy to help you with whatever you set your mind to. My professor helped my get into each travel abroad program. My wonderful professors and other staff have advocated for me in the business office when I chose to take these trips and other internships causing me to possibly have a larger economic burden but because of these people it has been possible. The swim team always encouraging me to follow my passions and being there for when I needed a friend while abroad and there to welcome me back as soon as I came back into the States.

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