LeLei Fonoimoana Athlete Profile | BYU Cougar Club

LeLei Fonoimoana Athlete Profile

LeLei Fonoimoana

LeLei Fonoimoana
Roster Years: 1976-1979 Hall of Fame: 1991

  • 1991 Women's Swimming & Diving


  • 1977 AIAW First Team 100-meter fly
  • 1977 AIAW Honorable Mention 100-meter fly
  • 1977 AIAW Honorable Mention 200-meter fly
  • 1977 AIAW First Team 200-meter IM 
  • 1978 AIAW First Team 100-meter fly
  • 1978 AIAW First Team 200-meter fly
  • 1979 AIAW First Team 50-meter fly
  • 1979 AIAW First Team 100-meter fly
  • 1981 AIAW Honorable Mention 100-meter fly

1991 Hall of Fame Inductee

LeLei Fonoimoana entered BYU in 1976 as a teenage phenomenon with a string of swimming honors. At age 15 she helped set an American record in the 400 medley relay, and at 17 she placed seventh in the 100-meter butterfly at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, missing a medal by only five-tenths of a second.

Noted for her intense concentration and lengthy workouts in the Richards Building pools, LeLei subsequently put BYU on the national swimming charts.

She amassed a total of 11 All-America awards, nearly double the number earned by any other BYU female athlete. She has held or holds five school records ar sea level - 50, 100, and 200-meter butterfly as well as the 100 and 200-meter individual medley.

In her freshman season, LeLei scored all of BYU's 64 points at the AIAW National Championships. She collected five All-America awards in the butterfly and individual medley events while picking up an 18th-place finish for the team.

As a sophomore, she won three more All-America awards; as a junior, she won two; and then she sat out the 1979-80 collegiate season to practice in Florida for the Olympic trials.

During her senior season, LeLei, a pre-med major, won her eleventh All-America award in her specialty, the 100-meter butterfly. That year she was selected Outstanding Senior Female Athlete by the Cougar Club and was named to the AIAW All-Region Team. Although the conference did not award honors until her junior year, she headed the all-Conference list in her final two seasons.

Since leaving BYU, LeLei has enjoyed extensive professional employment as an assistant swim coach at UCLA, a senior lifeguard, a therapist, and a dance instructor.