Three-sport standout Ashbaugh is Times Observer co-Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year

One look at the list of accomplishments of Warren Area High School graduate Olivia Ashbaugh will leave you amazed. Sitting down and talking to her will, if possible, leave you even more impressed.

Ashbaugh was a three-sport standout out in the Blue and White and graduated in the top five of her class. Those are the most some of the most important, but certainly not the only reasons why she was chosen as the Warren Times Observer Female Scholar Athlete award winner, sharing the honors with Eisenhower’s Hosanna Senz.

Her list of activities, apart from being a great student-athlete, is a long one, including but not limited to National Honor Society (where she served as Treasurer), Spanish Club (Vice President), Art Club (Treasurer), Varsity Club (Secretary), Envirothon and North Warren Presbyterian Church Quadosh Bell Choir. Oh yeah, she was also a member of the National Art Honor Society and a recipient of the National Merit Scholarship Program Letter of Commendation.

Her endeavors in the athletic arena were equally impressive. She was an all-region performer in soccer and a captain her senior season, helping lead the Lady Dragons to back-to-back Region 5 championships.

She took up swimming her sophomore year, never having competed in the sport before, and became a district qualifier. It was here that her time management skills were really put to the test, sometimes getting in as late as midnight, only to be up by 5 a.m. the next day.

In track, she became a district-qualifying sprinter and she medaled at the D-10 championships in both track and swimming.

It won’t be all those accomplishments that she remembers most, however, but rather the relationships she built with her teammates.

“The thing I enjoyed most about high school athletics was the opportunity it provided for me to become friends with my teammates; people who were not in the same grade or were in different friend groups that I would not have become close to without athletics,” she said.

The lessons learned in sports can be incredibly valuable, and Ashbaugh said she gleaned a lot.

“One of the most valuable lessons I learned in high school was that even if you do not always like someone or get along with them you still need to be able to respect them and find ways to work with them to the best of your abilities,” she said.

“I think this will serve me very well in college. I also learned that how you use your time is important and figuring out what is worth spending time on and what is not is crucial to success; my time management skills increased exponentially during athletic seasons.”

That time management partly explains why she was not only capable of doing so much in high school, but also doing all of it at a high level.

Of course, leadership plays a role as well, and she stood out in that area too. One of the most impressive qualities from talking to her was how much she took to heart her role as a team captain. She spoke passionately about helping out and guiding her younger teammates like previous captains did for her.

It’s a trait that will serve her well as she embarks on the next chapter in her life, which is Penn State University, where she plans to major in Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, with her eyes set on becoming a veterinarian. It seems like a natural choice for a young woman who has a love for animals and the necessary qualities to endure the time and amount of work it takes to break into the field.

There is a lot more to college, too and Ashbaugh is excited for that as well.

“I am looking forward to broadening my horizons,” she said. “I am so excited to meet new people and have opportunities to travel and grow as a person. I am also incredibly excited to participate in the Penn State Student Section and continue loving sports.”