MACHESNEY PARK – Harlem long jump and triple jump specialist Olivia Lewis is our new WREX Athlete of the Week. She’s transitioning from cheerleading in the winter, back into track and field mode for the spring.
Lewis helped Harlem’s competitive cheer team qualify for state, and she’s qualified for state in track and field in the past, so she hopes for another successful season in her senior year.
“[Track is] more challenging because you have your own personal goals but you’re also contributing to your team,” Lewis said. “Whereas cheer, you all blend together.”
She does a lot of jumping on the cheerleading mat, and had done that longer than jumping in track and field. But it came naturally to her. Lewis says she broke a Harlem indoor record with her first career jump.
“That was eye-opening for me,” Lewis said. “Going into the sport, I had no background knowledge of what it was or what a good jump was.”
Lewis is able to perform her best on the big stages in crucial moments.
“I really like the pressure,” she said. “I feed off that and it pushes my performance.”
She says she doesn’t plan on competing athletically in college, so this track and field season is her final go-round. Lewis plans on leaping into the Harlem history books a few more times.