Tristany Leikem: Still Playing!

November 3rd, 2011 | By admin No Comments

Tristany was a five-time state tennis champion.  Tristany and her twin sister, Kirsten, won the state doubles title four consecutive years and both were members of the 2004 State Champion Cross Country team.  She graduated FWHS with a 4.1 GPA and currently holds a 3.92 GPA in college.

I am a native Tucsonan, born and raised in hot Arizona.  Now, at 21 years old, I live on the beach in Narragansett, Rhode Island, with my twin sister, Kirsten, and three of my good friends.  I eat New England clam chowder, drink Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, and travel to New York City.  I am a junior at the University of Rhode Island, and when people ask how in the world I ended up going to school in the Ocean State there is only one answer:  “I came here to play tennis.”

Growing up in Tucson, I played tennis all over the city.  I started at age four with Kirsten swinging a racquet next to me and my parents beaming from the sideline.  Both my parents played sports in high school and were thrilled when we received scholarships to play tennis for URI.  Now, my “little” sister plays basketball for St. Mary’s High School in Phoenix and is being actively recruited by several universities.

Between my first tennis racquet and the one I have now, 17 years have passed. Tennis has taught me many lessons in those years.  Practicing tennis has taught me work ethic.  Playing matches has taught me how to embrace pressure, not fear it.  Being part of a team has taught me how to become friends with people and to accept others as they are.  In college, I learned how to be flexible and open to change when my coach paired me with a new doubles partner.  Most important, I learned how to make exercise a part of my life, and to enjoy it.

Yes, at times I must choose between sports and school.  However, sports are great teachers of time management and often contribute to education rather than take away from it.  In college, professors frequently comment on the great organizational skills and responsibility of student-athletes in their classes.  Balancing school, a sport, and a social life is not always easy, but it is possible, and even gratifying. Tristany Leikem: Still Playing!

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