Olivia Jackson

Jennifer Malocha is the Female Athlete of the Year for the 2020-21 school year. Malocha played lacrosse in addition to being captain of the swim team during her career at Pascack Valley.

Female Athlete of the Year: Jennifer Malocha

A four year swimmer and lacrosse player, senior Jennifer Malocha has been able to compete at a high level in multiple sports both in and out of school.

Although this year’s seniors have had a very unordinary four years at PV, Malocha has still been able to prove her worth.

“When I made states [in swimming] my freshman year and I think that was a really great thing [since] we broke a school record for the 200 freestyle relay,” Malocha said.

Just like many other athletes, the road was not easy for Malocha, as she dealt with injuries throughout her junior year.

“Around last year was a very rough time [because] I had tendonitis in my hips and knees,” Malocha said.

Along with injuries in her career, COVID-19 put an extra strain on Malocha’s career. She had her lacrosse and swimming seasons greatly affected by the pandemic.

“Especially for [swimming], it was hard to practice and get ready for the preseason,” Malocha said. “For lacrosse, it was hard not being able to practice and I missed my junior year. [I] did not have the ability to advance as a player.”

As a captain of the swim team, Malocha was able to make an impact that serves an even greater purpose than her individual performance.

“[Malocha’s] focus has always been what’s best for the team, especially this year with the pandemic,” swim coach Courtney Rems said. “She is a great role-model as an athlete and as a person for the underclassmen and will be very missed.”

In lacrosse, Malocha feels that coach Melissa Velez and coach Tyler Johnson have both had positive influences on her career.

“They gave me a lot of confidence [during] practices and always supported me from day one,” Malocha said.

As Malocha gets ready to graduate and move onto her next endeavor in life, she had words of wisdom for younger athletes at Pascack Valley.

“Make the most of your time at Valley. Make friends with your teammates and have the most fun,” Malocha said. “Even if you lose, you learn from your mistakes.”

Although Malocha will continue her academic career at Ohio State University, she sees no signs of stopping her athletic career as she looks to pursue club swimming or lacrosse.

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Female Athlete of the Year: Jennifer Malocha