Athlete Spotlight: Sherando swimmer Natalee Tusing

Sherando swimmer Natalee Tusing

Sherando High School 17-year-old senior

Sport: Swimming. Main events: 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle

Parents: Jacob Rinard and Melissa Tusing

Hometown: Stephens City

What do you love about swimming?: I love that you can compete as an individual and on a relay team. There are not many sports that allow you to win for yourself and for your team. And I also love my teammates. Some of them I’ve been swimming year-round with for years.

Most memorable moment in swimming: Our last meet before winter break (the Holiday Hundreds on Dec. 23 at Colgan High School in Manassas). I had a 54.89 in my 100(-yard) freestyle, and I had been trying to break 55 seconds for two years. It was a great feeling. And our relay teams also broke two school records at that meet.

Most embarrassing moment in swimming: My sophomore year, I was the top seed in my 200 freestyle [at the district meet], and I was super nervous. About 100 yards in I choked on water. I had to stop and slow down and I ended up placing ninth. Thankfully, the next week I did qualify for states.

Most difficult moment in swimming: When you miss a [qualifying] cut by as little as a hundredth of a second. Or the dedication and commitment required to excel at swimming.

Three people you can have dinner with, dead or alive: Justin Bieber; I’ve seen him in concert multiple times. I really like him, and I’d just like to sit down and talk with him. My great-grandmother Katie who passed away before I was even born; I’d love to talk to her about how her life was back then. She and my mom were really close, so I’d like to talk to them about how their relationship was. And Michael Phelps; I think it’s so cool, all the things he accomplished, and he’s the most decorated Olympian.

Biggest athletic influence: Caeleb Dressel; I just like how dedicated he is in the sport. I like how he also still competes in swimming even after the Olympics.

Favorite teacher: Ms. [Robin] Sweet. She was my fifth-grade teacher at Armel Elementary. She just really got me into wanting to learn and being more involved in school.

Favorite athlete: Caeleb Dressel

Favorite sports team: Baltimore Ravens

Favorite movie: “The Grinch”

Favorite TV show: “Grey’s Anatomy”

Favorite song: “Wants and Needs” by Drake

Favorite food: French fries

Worst thing you’ve eaten: Cucumbers

Plans after high school: I plan to go to a four-year school to major in biology and minor in American sign language if they offer it. I just love learning about science and the process of life. American sign language, I have a certificate in it that I got from Lord Fairfax. I spend a lot of time with the deaf community, and I just think it’s very important to know and be involved. When I was taking the classes at Lord Fairfax, I went to deaf coffee chats at Starbucks.

Compiled by Robert Niedzwiecki

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