by LIZ ONUFER | photos by PortrArt Creations

Athletic Drive

student_letzring4The commitment and hard work of elite competition is nothing new to Amanda Letzring, a Scripps Ranch native and junior at Mt. Carmel High School. What comes as a surprise, even to Amanda herself, is where she is competing today. After a decade of dancing competitive Russian ballet, Amanda has successfully shifted her athletic pursuits from the dance stage to the tennis court.

Amanda was only three years old when she was introduced to Russian style ballet. Over the next 10 years, she danced seven days a week and earned a number of accolades. She competed in the Youth America Grand Prix, participated in the Kirov Academy of Ballet’s summer program in Washington, D.C., and performed the role of Clara in The Nutcracker at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. “I loved expressing myself to the classical music,” Amanda explained. “I also loved the challenge of learning new choreography and perfecting it.”

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Name: Amanda Letzring (16)
School: Mt. Carmel High School
Grade: 11
Parents: Mike and Heather Letzring
Sibling: Erica Letzring (20)
Favorite Local Spots: Scripps Ranch Swim and Racquet Club, Miramar Lake, Chile Peppers


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When Amanda turned 13, many of her dance peers were developing foot and ankle injuries. Amanda’s mom decided it was time for a new sport. “To my dismay, my mom pulled me out of ballet to try tennis for six months and told me that if I did not like it, I could go back to ballet,” Amanda shared. Initially humbled in the beginner’s group with kids half her age, Amanda accepted the challenge. “Within six months, I was moving my way up in the groups and played my first novice tournament,” she said. “From then on, I continued to put in complete effort every second I was on the tennis court, also seven days a week, beginning to win more tournaments.”

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The immediate rewards of tennis were clear, plus Amanda recognized the future she could have playing tennis in college. “Although I miss my childhood of competitive ballet, I ended up falling in love with tennis and my mom was right.” Her accolades on the court include earning the title of MVP in the three years she played as #1 singles in varsity tennis, being named the all CIF First Team for Girls Tennis, and Palomar League Player of the Year. She was also featured as Athlete of the Month and nominated for Athlete of the Year for three years in a row at Mt. Carmel. In her free time, Amanda enjoys watching Food Network, cooking, and volunteering at tennis tournaments in the community to help teach younger children how to improve their skills.

Looking ahead, Amanda is continuing her hard work in school and on the court. Her plans include attending college and playing tennis for a Division 1 or 2 team, becoming a CPA, and working as a forensic accountant for the FBI.