When Charlotte Deiss does anything, she wants to be the best.Whether it’s on the tennis court, the cross-country course or in the classroom, Deiss has been on top of her game at East Meck High for the last three years.Deiss is not only No. 1 in her class – with a 5.1 grade-point average – but also No. 1 on the Eagles’ girls’ tennis team and the top girls’ runner on the East Meck cross-country team. Deiss is maintaining her class load, which includes all college-level (AP or IB) courses, while juggling her roles on the East Meck cross-country and tennis teams.That often includes going to a tennis match or practice, then running several miles afterward before her nightly homework.“I’m a very competitive person, so no matter what I’m doing, I want to be the best,” Deiss said. “I do have a pretty hectic schedule, but I enjoy every minute of it. I’m just one of those people that doesn’t really like having free time. I wouldn’t know what to do with it, anyway.”Her mom, Martha Deiss, who is also a teacher at East Meck High, is impressed with her daughter’s drive.“I’ve told her that she is crazy; she’s nuts to do all the stuff she does at once,” Martha Deiss said. “But that is just the type of person she is.”Charlotte Deiss began playing tennis in tournaments when she was 9. Deiss was nationally ranked from ages 12-14, and worked on her game before school with Coach Mike Conroy, who works out of Matthews Swim, Tennis and Golf and has been a tennis professional for more than 30 years. At the time, Deiss, who went to South Charlotte Middle School, was playing three to four tournaments a month on the weekends.“Just playing tennis as much as I have has taught me a lot about discipline and helped me a lot in life, overall,” said Deiss, noting she scaled back her junior circuit tennis play. “It’s built a level of confidence that I would never have had without it. Mike Conroy has been a big part of that.”Conroy has worked with Charlotte since she began playing in tournaments. “When you know someone like Charlotte as long as I have, you feel their pain and their happiness,” Conroy said. “It’s been great watching her become so successful at everything she does. I think she can be as good as she wants to be at whatever she does.”Deiss hopes to earn an academic scholarship to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale or UNC Chapel Hill to major in either biomedical or chemical engineering. If tennis or track can be a part of her college experience, Deiss says she would consider it.For now, Deiss is focused on having another great fall in the classroom, where she is taking calculus, AP science, IB physics, IB psychology, AP art history, AP English 3, and a civil engineering and architecture class.She also wants to have her best seasons to date after she earned all-Southwestern 4A conference honors in both sports last fall.Deiss, the SW4A conference runner-up in tennis, hopes to challenge for the league title and qualify for both the 4A West regional and state tournaments in tennis.She is playing for her dad, Bill Deiss, who also teaches at East Meck and is in his first year as the tennis coach. She’s undefeated in singles so far this season.“Tennis has served as a great anchor for Charlotte, especially in her middle school years, giving her direction and something positive to focus on all the time,” Bill Deiss said. “For me, just being a small part of her tennis career as her coach just gives me another reason to be around her and the rest of the team.”Deiss has also had success in cross-country, where she finished 12th at the conference meet last season, and ran a personal-best 19:53 in the Wendy’s Invitational at McAlpine Park, one of the area’s top races.This year, Deiss hopes to break her personal best and contend for conference, regional and even state honors.She knows that won’t be easy, as she often trains for cross-country after tennis matches at 8 or 9 p.m. “My schedule can get pretty intense and sometimes I get tired,” she said. “But it’s all worth because I’m doing what I love to do.”
Friday, Sep. 20, 2013
Charlotte East Meck junior excels on the court, course and in the classroom
Jay Edwards is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Jay? Email him at email@example.com.
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