Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Girls Swimmer Spotlight

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Girls Swimmer Spotlight

Article excerpt

Sophia Marusic likes to write.

Short stories, fiction, poems. You name it, the John Burroughs girls swimming standout can literate it.

Soon, she might be able to put her two passions together.

Maybe a story about a young swimmer who got better every year on the way to finally winning a state championship in her last try.

The multi-talented Marusic is well on her way to doing just that.

Marusic returns for her fourth season in the pool with high hopes after a fifth-place finish in the 200 freestyle at the state meet last February.

"I'm really looking forward to this season," Marusic said. "It's not only going to be fun, but I think we can be successful, too."

Marusic has a legitimate shot at a top-three finish in the 200, her signature event, as two of the four swimmers who finished ahead of her at the state meet last season graduated.

Plus, she and the three other John Burroughs seniors have a top- 10 team finish in mind as well.

The Bombers gradually have improved from 24th place in the standings at state to 17th in 2015 and 12th last season.

And Marusic is one of the main reasons for that progression.

"She's the backbone of our team," John Burroughs coach Leslie Kehr said.

Marusic recorded a state qualifying time in every individual event except the 100 breaststroke last season. She helped her team qualify for state in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays and also placed ninth in the 100 butterfly.

"You can put her in any event," senior teammate Katie Jackson said. "And she'll give it her best. We count on her for almost everything."

Marusic is not your typical 18-year-old. She has a wide variety of interests.

In addition to her penchant for writing, she carries a 4.5 grade- point average with a rugged schedule of honors classes. She is not sure of a career path just yet, but the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is at the top of her college list. …

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