PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — This week’s Scholar Athlete of the Week sponsored by Perry and Young P.A. is Arnold’s Lexi Wood.

Wood has been on the Arnold swim team since her sophomore year.

“As a sophomore, she was out here to try it and have fun,” Arnold swim coach Jen Morgan said. “Then she fell in love with it.”

Her goal over the last three years was to grow and improve her time.

“You have to push yourself,” Wood said. “I don’t want to finish knowing I could have done better. I want to finish knowing that I did my best.”

Wood started swimming when she was little, but couldn’t try out her freshman year after contracting Covid-19. Her lasting symptom left her with a high resting heart rate.

“It was a liability for me to be on that team that broke my heart because I love staying active and it’s harder for me to stay active when I don’t have the team spirit and the environment around me,” Wood said.

Wood is not afraid to step up to a challenge, especially if it benefits the team.

“She has that kind of attitude and spirit that the team needs,” Morgan said. “She is 100% down for it. She has been asked to swim the 100 butterfly, which is undeniably one of the hardest events.”

On top of swim, Wood is involved in a lot of activities. She did weightlifting at Arnold for a couple of years. She also does Karate and teaches younger kids the sport. She is involved in many clubs at her school and is the co-president of the engineering club. She also has an artsy side and does theater. Last year, she played Ursula in the play.

“You see it in the classroom, you see it on the stage, you see it in her engineering projects, I’ve gotten the chance at school to kind of see her in different capacities, and like there’s not a kid that I can be prouder of,” Morgan said.

She has a 4.4 GPA and is dual enrolled at Gulf Coast. She has not decided if she wants to major in the art field or engineering. Wood does not plan on continuing her swimming career, but hopes her future school has a pool, so she can keep up with her love for the sport.