Athletes of the Week Lucy Dysart and Alexander To hustle and shine

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Lucy Dysart (sophomore), member of Occidental women’s soccer team, at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. Oct. 25, 2022. Nora Youngelson/The Occidental.

Lucy Dysart

Lucy Dysart (sophomore) is a center forward on Occidental’s women’s soccer team, scoring a game-winning goal against Redlands College Oct. 19. This was Dysart’s first collegiate goal.

“I couldn’t have picked a more perfect game,” Dysart said. “We had 15 minutes left and I had just gone in. I was standing right by the sidelines and the ball went right in. Everyone on the team all ran together and we were all hugging and cheering. It was amazing.”

Anna Fukushima (junior), one of Dysart’s teammates, said the goal against Redlands was amazing, but it was not a surprise since she sees Dysart perform the same way in practice every day.

“Lucy is one of the best types of teammates to be around during practice,” Fukushima said. “She makes every practice like something to look forward to. She’s always making you laugh while still working really hard.”

Dysart said that her favorite part of being an athlete at Occidental is the family that it creates. Recently the team has participated in organized bonding events every Friday, where Dysart said they get together and do activities like pumpkin carving and relay races.

“The team already spends six days a week together, but we always want to see more of each other,” Dysart said.

Dysart, who is a double major in politics and economics, said the team has also given her a support system that she can rely on, as well as just coming to practice to have fun.

“It is a very loose environment, while also serious,” Dysart said. “We make a lot of jokes with the coaches, so it’s very friendly. However, when we are on the field, we are serious and ready to play.”

Dysart said she is looking forward to finishing off the season strong with her teammates by her side. According to Dysart, her biggest focus is winning their last few games, while still finding the time to bring her positive energy to the rest of the team.

“Lucy makes practice super fun and just something to look forward to,” Fukushima said. “She’s very welcoming to everyone. I am just really proud of her.”

 

Alexander To

Alexander To (junior), member of Occidental men’s swim and dive team, at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. Oct. 25, 2022. Nora Youngelson/The Occidental.

Alexander To (junior) is a long-distance swimmer who recently placed first in the Redlands Pentathlon 100-yard freestyle event. To said that he is proud of his achievements, but mostly wanted to give credit to the entire swim and dive team for supporting him.

“I really love the team culture. We’re all very close and supportive of each other,” To said. “I know that I can count on all my teammates to be there and support me in my races. I always see them behind my lanes hitting the other side, waiting to cheer me on.”

To’s recent performance at the pentathlon did not go unnoticed to his teammate Chanel Ng (senior), who said it was great watching him compete and win.

“At the Redlands triathlon, he absolutely killed it. He was getting after it and just competing really well,” Ng said. “So that was awesome to see, especially at our first swim meet of the season.”

To, who is a biochemistry major on the pre-health track, said that swimming offers him a good schedule to structure his schoolwork around.

“It’s definitely tough balancing schoolwork and being a collegiate athlete,” To said. “Some of my teammates are also chemistry majors so we can help keep each other accountable, which is really nice.”

To said that unlike many other collegiate swim teams, Occidental men’s and women’s swim and dive teams practice together, creating an important atmosphere of support.

“I think we feed off of each other’s energy in practice and wins,” To said. “I am just really excited for the conference this year and watching everyone come together and compete.”

To said he is looking forward to the rest of the season and is excited about starting off with a win.

“I am super motivated to get to the end of the year swim meets and to just put up some fast racing,” To said.

According to Ng, To’s teammates look up to him as an exemplary athlete, student and friend. Ng said that he tends to be a very goal-driven athlete, which has set him up for a lot of success within the sport.

“He obviously is one of the swimmers that I think everyone relies on when it comes to getting through the tough sets,” Ng said. “He will always be in his lane leading and going fast no matter how tired he is. We love to see him do it.”

Contact Nora Youngelson at youngelson@oxy.edu