In Holy Cross’ season-opening 60-44 win over Scranton, senior Lexi Walsh scored 22 points, grabbed six rebounds, has four assists and two steals. That effort earned her Athlete of the Week honors for the third time in her career. The other two occasions were for cross country.
Here’s more from her interview:
Other sports I play: Cross country, track and field
Favorite teams: Pittsburgh Pirates
Athletes I admire: Andrew McCutcheon. Not only is he such a great athlete, he’s is a good person, too. He’s all about his team and is a really good guy.
Favorite food: Mashed potatoes.
Three people I’d like to have dinner with: Definitely my brother (Doug). We’re so close and he’s a huge fan of me. My parents, because they’ve been so supportive. And my teammates and coaches. Since this is my last season, I really want to make the most of it and enjoy it.
The start of basketball season comes shortly after cross country season ends. Is it difficult to go right into another season? I’m kind of used to it. The coaches are great about not playing in the preseason because I have cross country. But most of us play fall sports, so we all get in at the same time. Even though basketball is sprinting and running is long distances, it definitely helps to be in cross-country shape for basketball. And then I think basketball helps for track (in the spring).
You missed the second half of cross country season as a junior due to illness. You didn’t miss any time in basketball, but you weren’t 100 percent at the beginning of the season. How good does it feel to be healthy this season? It feels good. Even though I got back for the beginning last year, I still had six weeks where I wasn’t able to do anything. So this year coming right off cross country, I feel like I’m in great shape.
After everything you went through last year, how good did it feel to reclaim the district title in cross country, then finish fifth in Class 1A and earn a medal at the PIAA Championships in Hershey? Really happy, because it was so hard getting mono. It took a while to come back. Then in track, I was diagnosed with asthma. I had it as a baby and outgrew it. But I don’t know if the mono retriggered it. So that was a struggle. But finally, for cross country season, I got the right medication and got the asthma under control. I was just so excited to be running again, so it did feel really good to medal at states.
What did you think of Holy Cross cross country coach Charlie Orlando announcing his retirement? It’s been really great having him as a coach. He actually coached me since seventh grade because I ran junior high, too. It’s sad to see he’s done, but he did a great job coaching over his 26 years. He has grandkids in Georgia and goes to Florida for the winter, too. He needs to enjoy his family.
You are going to continue your running career at Temple. I’m really excited. From the first time I visited, all the coaches and the girls were great. I’m excited to be on the team with them and continue running. Not even two hours after the race ended at states, I was getting messages from the girls at Temple saying, “Great job!” It is kind of bittersweet, being my last year playing basketball and graduating, but I have something to really look forward to.