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Senior Spotlight: Sophia Thibert, Bay Port girls swimming, track

BY RICH PALZEWIC
CORRESPONDENT


Sophia Thibert is a senior member of the Bay Port swimming and track teams. She is one of the most dedicated student-athletes you will find at the school.

Sophia would like to possibly be an anesthesiologist someday, but is not quite sure where she will attend college yet.

Her most memorable sports moment would be having the fastest split time on the 400 Freestyle Relay for swimming her freshman year.

Name: Sophia Thibert
Parents: Jason & Janet
School: Bay Port
Sports: swimming, track
Twitter: @SophiaThibert

How do you pronounce your last name? “Thee-bert.”

Your Twitter bio says: “It’s swim season…bye!” Do you really disappear? “That was kind of a joke, but when swim season starts, it’s ‘bye to social life!’ We have so much practice and then meets on the weekend.”

Are you ready for the grind of swim season to be done? “I complain about it, but I don’t know what I’d do without swim. It fills a time and makes me have a better work ethic because you know you only have a certain amount of time to get things done.”

Tell me about the video you posted March 24 on your Twitter. “I had my wisdom teeth out between the club season in swim and the start of track. I got them out during spring break and immediately after I got out of surgery, I was asking if I could run, lift and do abs.”

Do you come from a sports family? “My brother Lucas swims as well and has qualified for state. He plays football and does track, too. My mom was a tomboy and was in basketball, softball and was also a cheerleader. My dad played hockey in high school.”

What’s it like having your sister Ella on the team? “It’s really nice. We are closer now than what we were in the past because we drive to practice early together and always are at the meets together.”

She’s a diver…can you dive? “Oh, no…absolutely not! I was in gymnastics for quite a while, but the thought of doing that into water scares me! I would rather swim and run until I was exhausted than dive in front of a group of people.”

How about a sport you wish you could have done in high school? “Cross country. I always wanted to see how I would compare to others on the team.”

When did you start swimming and when did you get serious about it? “I came into swimming late when I was about 11, but then qualified for (club) state when I was 12. I got more serious my freshman year when we qualified at the WIAA state meet and I had the fastest split in the 400 Freestyle Relay.”

I’ve been at the pool preseason and seen the amount of work you put in. Can you put it in perspective? “A lot of people think we just splash around at practice. We jump in the pool and stare at the black line for almost three hours. They are grueling practices.”

What’s your favorite stroke? What’s one stroke you’re not good at? “I wouldn’t say I really have a favorite one. I know how to do all them, but I would say the breaststroke is the hardest for me…I just can’t move my body in the most efficient way for that.”

What’s it like swimming for Coach Wood? “Every day is different. She will either be very hyper or very serious. We do have a tendency to talk a lot, so she does a good job of trying to keep us on track. She’s very good to talk to and is very personable.”

Do you have a most embarrassing sports moment? “For sectionals in track my sophomore year, it was so hot, like 92 degrees. In the 3,200-meter relay, my first lap went okay, but then in the second lap I started to feel really weird. As I was rounded the final curve, my whole body went numb. I was getting tunnel vision and ended up falling a few feet from the exchange zone. That was embarrassing.”

Before the Ashwaubenon meet, I saw you eating an apple on the pool deck watching Ella dive. Do you always eat that healthy? “A lot of people think I always eat well, but that’s not true; but I am very superstitious when it comes to that. I always think, ‘if I eat a cookie, I’m going to swim like a cookie, but if I eat an apple, I’m going to feel good for the whole meet.’ We burn a ton of calories.”

I took a pic of you last year getting ready to run and you look very serious, like ‘don’t mess with me.’ “It depends on the meet and who we are going up against. If I’m not sure how I will do, I just focus and visualize how I want the outcome to be. I try not to look too scary. It also depends on who’s watching me!”

You’re being recruited for rowing in college? “It’s kind of weird because I’ve never rowed before, but I do have a college looking at me for that! They usually recruit tall swimmers or runners because we have the endurance.”

What is something about you most people don’t know? “I really like traveling and each year my family tries to go someplace different. Last year it was the Cayman Islands and we got to go snorkeling and swim with the stingrays. We are going to Alaska next summer.”

What are some of your hobbies? “I do like going for bike rides with my sister, baking and spending time with our two giant Golden Doodle dogs. Anything dealing with being outside.”

Have you ever done a triathlon? “No but I would like to someday!”

Which teammate should have her own reality TV show? “Jillian Shipley. She is such an outgoing person and always has something to say to someone. She has lots of interesting stories and advice to give us. She is very easy to get along with and talks to everyone.”

Tiny house or tree house? “Tree house.”
Swimming or running? “Swimming.”
Bowling or the movies? “Movies.”
Fruits or veggies? “Fruits.”
Puppies or kittens? “Puppies.”

What three words best describe you? “Determined, consciousness, hard-working.”

Do you have any bad habits? “I always say I’m going to bed super early, but it never turns out that way!”

How will Sophia Thibert be remembered at Bay Port? “I’m sure it’ll be from sports, but I hope it will also be from my involvement in all the other activities I do.”

Favorites

Food: watermelon
Subject: science
Athlete: (gymnast) Simone Biles
App: Snapchat, Instagram
Board game: cribbage

Coach Meghan Wood’s comments: “Sophia has been a wonderful swimmer to coach the past four years.  She is someone who takes the sport very seriously and looks for every possible way to make improvements and get faster.  She can often be found putting in the extra yardage or lifting in the weight room outside of practice. She works incredibly hard at each and every practice. Sophia is not only a hard worker, but she is a kind and caring teammate to be around.  The girls look to her not only for her speed and dedication to the sport, but because of her leadership skills, both in and out of the pool. I look forward to seeing Sophia succeed in the pool, on the track and in the classroom in the future. She has a very bright future ahead of her!”

Notes: suggestions for the Senior Spotlight can be submitted to Rich via email ([email protected]) or by Twitter (@richpalzewic)… all spotlights can be found online at thepress.media. Check out last week’s spotlight on Bay Port cross country runner Kyle Thieme.

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