Menlo-Atherton High School student-athlete Lauren McDonnell was selected as the recipient of the prestigious “2018-2019 Winter California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Spirit of Sport Award”.
For each of the three sport seasons, the CIF chooses one female and one male from over 1,600 California high schools for its annual Spirit of Sport Award. This award recognizes student-athletes who have demonstrated the 16 principles of “Pursuing Victory with Honor” and exemplary sportsmanship, school and community service, and leadership.
Lauren, a Menlo-Atherton senior, is a co-founder and three-year team captain of Menlo-Atherton High School’s first girls wrestling team, growing the team from its inception into a team of 25 girls who recently placed second at the California State Wrestling Tournament and earned its third consecutive Central Coast Section title.
Individually, Lauren has placed 1st in the CCS twice and placed 5th in California in 2018. She is ranked 17th nationally. Lauren was the recipient of the “Wrestler of the Meet Award” at the 2018 Central Coast Section Tournament for great individual sportsmanship and ability.
Outside of wrestling, Lauren is the two-year M-A Chapter President of buildOn, a global non-profit which builds primary schools in developing countries around the world. Over the past three years, Lauren and the M-A buildOn team have collectively raised over $100K to fund and travel to build three schools in Senegal and Haiti.
In addition, Lauren participates in local volunteer service activities including serving breakfast at LifeMoves, volunteering at the Redwood City Library, and tutoring students in math, science, and English.
To provide financial support to local wrestlers in need, Lauren is the Co-Founder and Volunteer Director of a non-profit organization, the Menlo-Atherton Wrestling Education Corporation. This non-profit has raised over $20,000 to support local wrestling programs and education, including training programs at the high school and middle school levels.
As a member of the Menlo-Atherton High School Debate Team, which is ranked 1st in the National Parliamentary Debate League, Lauren is ranked 33rd in the National Debate League with her debate partner.
She is also a National Merit Scholar Finalist and Menlo-Atherton High School’s recipient of the Williams College Book Award for intellectual leadership and making a significant contribution to the school’s extracurricular life.
In her spare time, Lauren loves outdoor adventures and has gone on two Outward Bound trips backpacking through the Colorado Rockies and portaging canoes through the Maine Appalachian mountains.
Lauren intends to study behavioral economics, econometrics, and philosophy in college. She thanks her coaches, especially Coach Phil Hoang, as well as her family, team, teachers, and the M-A Athletic Directors and Administration for all their support and dedication over the years.