It's not that Skyview senior skier and runner Amy Lambe is antisocial. Far from it. It's just that through the years Lambe has learned there's a time to hang with the pack, and there's a time to break from it.
According to Skyview skiing and running coach Kent Peterson, Lambe has always been gifted in whatever she does, whether it be athletics, academics or music.
But Peterson, who has coached Lambe for four years at Skyview, said it wasn't until her junior year that Lambe started mixing an intense work ethic with her natural abilities in running and skiing.
"In the past year, she's started trying to keep up with the boys at practice," Peterson said. "Practice isn't so much of a social thing for her anymore.
"She wants to push herself to ski faster, and the way for her to do that is to try and keep up with the guys."
Lambe agreed with her coach's assessment.
On the trails
Won a Kenai Peninsula Borough cross country title as a junior and took 10th in the state cross country meet that year.
Won a classical race at the Region III meet her sophomore year and a skate race at regions her junior year.
Off the trails
Carries a 3.8 grade point average in the classroom.
Is vice president of the National Honors Society.
Participates in the 4-H Club Junior Market Livestock Program
"In my first couple of years in high school, I did running and skiing just to have fun," said Lambe, who also plays soccer and made it to state in swimming several times at Skyview. "Now, I look at it more as a competition."
The slight change in outlook has led to some pretty impressive results both in running and skiing.
As a junior, Lambe won a Kenai Peninsula Borough title in cross country and finished 10th in the state cross country meet. In skiing, Lambe won the skate race at regions and took third overall in the region en route to placing seventh in the state.
It was during her junior year of skiing that Peterson said Lambe had two breakthrough moments. The first came when she finished second in a Junior Olympic Qualifier at Tsalteshi Trails. The second came at state, when she did the first leg of the relay and was leading the race until she fell.
"Those were the two points last year where I think she realized she could ski with the best girls in the state," Peterson said. "She realized she could stay right with them."
This year Lambe has continued to build on her skiing success. She's taken second, fifth, eighth and 12th in the four Junior Olympic Qualifier races this year, giving her a good shot at making Alaska's powerful Junior Olympics team.
Lambe also is expecting to close the high school season with some strong performances due to skiing twice a day on Scout Lake over Christmas break with Allan Miller, an assistant principal at Skyview, and several other team members.
"She's matured into an athlete who wants to excel every time," said Lambe's mother, Mary Lambe. "In the process of excelling, she's also been able to keep the joy of the sport."
While all agree that Lambe's competitive instinct has been sharpened in the last few years, it would be wrong to assume that before that time she was lazy.
Amy was raised with her two sisters, Stephanie and Sarah, by her parents, Bob and Mary, on a farm in Kasilof.
"I think that, probably, the farm was instrumental in building a strong work ethic," Mary said. "In order for anything like that to succeed at that scale, we needed the cooperation of all our family members and we had that with our three girls."
The Lambes also run Kasilof Mercantile, and Bob also works as a senior partner at an accounting firm, so Amy and her sisters have to do a lot of chores to keep the farm running.
"Their whole family is hard workers," said Penny McClain, an assistant Skyview ski coach and also a Kasilof resident. "They're all very happy, and they're all very supportive of one other.
"Their parents also are great about helping people in Kasilof who are in need, whether it's from a fire or just getting through the winter. That attitude shows in their daughters."
Amy said her summer job is raising a steer for the 4-H Club Junior Market Livestock Program. Part of the program is going to 10 different businesses in the community to sell the program. Lambe, who has raised a steer three years, has had Gates Construction purchase her summer's work twice.
"I'm extremely proud that the children all exhibit the capability of leadership, the ability to get along with other people and public speaking," Mary said. "We entered into 4-H to help those qualities come out."
Lambe also has excelled in the classroom at Skyview, accumulating a 3.8 grade point average. She also is the vice president of the National Honors Society.
She said she will go to college next year to become a veterinarian.
"She's always been a nurturer," Mary said. "When we welcomed our third daughter (Stephanie) into the world, she was a little mom.
"She's always enjoyed our baby animals."
Lambe also would like to ski in college.
"She definitely has that type of ability," said Miller, who used to coach skiing at Skyview. "We've got four girls from Skyview skiing in college, and she's right at the level they were at when they were seniors.
"College coaches would be glad to have her."
That makes college coaches identical to the teachers and coaches Lambe has encountered to this point.
"Amy's very amiable and she's able to go with the flow of life," Mary said. "She has a sense of responsibility to excel in what she does most, whether it be relations with fellow schoolmates or homework."
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