Montgomery County High School Athlete of the Week

photo of Sherwood senior Lilia Atanda

Throughout all of her success on the diving board, Sherwood High senior Lilia Atanda continued trying to redirect attention to her teammates.

“She wants to highlight everyone else, but it’s hard when she is so good at what she does and outperforms the field,” Sherwood swimming and diving coach Ryan Burnsky said.

Atanda capped her high school athletic career by becoming the first diver in Maryland history to win three consecutive state championships, posting a score of 429.70 to easily best second-place finisher Ruby Borzekowski of Blair. (Maryland added diving to its high school state championships in 2012.)

For her efforts, Atanda was named the Montgomery County Sports Hall of Fame High School Athlete of the Week.

Each week throughout the school year, the Montgomery County Sports Hall of Fame is partnering with Montgomery Community Media to honor an Athlete of the Week from the county’s more than 40 public and private high schools.

The fall Athletes of the Week were presented with a commemorative hat and certificate at the Montgomery County Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2022 induction ceremony in December.

Burnsky said he first met Atanda when she was in elementary school and was a standout swimmer in the summers at the Olney Mill Swim Club. Fast forward a few years later, when Atanda – whose mother swam at the University of Maine, while her father played soccer at the University of Virginia and older brother plays soccer at Brown University — reached high school and she was a star off the diving board.

Atanda was the state high school title as a freshman, but there was no meet her sophomore year because of the Covid-19 pandemic – the only thing standing in Atanda’s way of being a four-time state champion. She also won the 2022 championship as a junior. Atanda finished second at the prestigious Metros meet last month leading up to her third state title. She will continue her diving career next year at the University of Chicago.

“At Metros she started to hit some pretty awesome dives and hit them clean,” Burnsky said. “She was locked in from then on. We said that if she does the same stuff at states, she’s going to raise some eyebrows and make some history.”

Write a Comment

Related Articles