Hampton Park Christian School senior Kathryn Lyons is not only first in her class, a marimba player and National Honor Society president, she also finds time to play volleyball and to captain her school’s cross-country, soccer and basketball teams — and she’s also achieved All-State in each of the sports she plays. Now, the 17-year-old Greenvillian can boast of being a national finalist for the Heisman High School Scholarship, which celebrates outstanding high school female and male athletes who are also leaders in their schools and communities.
Lyons is one of 12 national finalists selected out of 100 finalists nationwide. The finalists each receive a $1,250 college scholarship.
“Everything that went along with [being selected as a finalist] was just a super cool and neat experience that I wouldn’t have had otherwise,” she says.
Lyons has been supported by her school in her many endeavors.
“We couldn’t be more proud of Kathryn! Her selection as a national finalist is well deserved, not only for her athletic and academic excellence but especially for her godly character,” said Hampton Park school administrator Kevin Priest in a statement. “She is a gifted servant-leader, looking for every opportunity to meet the needs of those around her in school and in her community. She leverages her gifts and abilities to make others successful.”
Lyons says she’s been playing sports her entire life. Her athletic lifestyle also runs in the family. Lyons’ brother applied a few years earlier for the scholarship. Her mother swam in school, and her father coaches cross-country at Hampton Park. During the summer — and amid a pandemic — Lyons and her father participated in a half Ironman triathlon. Though it was her first, she came in third overall for her age group.
Why didn’t Lyons do a full Ironman? She wasn’t old enough.
“It was just a ton of fun to do something different, because I’ve done sports and stuff all my life, but that’s just a completely different aspect of fitness, and each of those disciplines has its own fitness level that’s required,” she says of her training. Now, though, she’ll wait a few years until she preps for a full Ironman.
Lyons says she doesn’t have concrete plans for next year yet. She wants to go to college and maybe pursue a master’s degree one day.
So far, she says her experiences have taught her to not hold back. “God has given me such incredible talents and opportunity to be able to use those,” Lyons says. “The things I’ve learned about life through sports has just been incredible — how everything ties together.”