Liberty County High School senior Sandra Scott is currently ranked seventh in her class in the state in swimming, according to collegeswimming.com. She is second in her class in the 200-meter freestyle, admittedly her best event.
“My best event is definitely the 200 free,” she said. “And then I guess my second best would be the 100 free. I enjoy freestyle, but I also swim the IM (individual medley) and butterfly.”
In fact, Scott said she used to primarily compete in the butterfly, but as she aged and grew into the sport, freestyle was a better fit for her competitive nature.
In third grade, Scott made a friend who was a swimmer and asked Scott to join her in the pool one day.
“I was dancing at the time, but as soon as I started swimming, I stopped all other sports and just went for it,” she said.
For quite some time, Scott swam for the team that was at the Liberty County YMCA coached by Donna Hooe.
“When I was 12, I decided I wanted to go practice in Savannah with a coach there, and so I practiced there every day after school,” she said.
“The team that is in Hinesville is a satellite of that same Savannah team — the Georgia Coastal Aquatic Team, or G-CAT.”
This summer, Scott swam in several smaller competitions at the end of May and beginning of June. She took a quick breather and competed in another midseason meet in June in Savannah.
“I got all best times in that meet,” Scott said.
Near the end of her summer season, she competed against college swimmers at two meets in Athens, the senior sectionals and the senior state meet.
“My highest placement at the senior state was second in the 200 freestyle, and I was fourth in the 100 freestyle,” she said.
Scott’s accomplishments are getting her noticed, and she said she has spoken to several college recruiters and coaches.
“Right now, I am looking at taking five official visits in September and October, and the three that I’ve decided that I’m going on so far are Arkansas, University of Georgia and TCU,” said Scott, who wants to major in pre-med.
The ambitious swimmer had even loftier goals for her athletic career. Scott said she is doing her best to make the 2020 Olympics. While she would love to make Team USA, she also could swim for Team Finland.
“My mom is from Finland, and I have a dual citizenship with Finland,” she explained.
Scott is well on her way to meeting her Olympic goals.
“This past summer, I made the winter junior national cuts, so I will be attending that meet in Atlanta in the beginning of December,” she said. “In the spring, I will compete in the (National Club Swimming Association) juniors in Orlando … and I am going to hope from those two meets
I will be able to accomplish my ultimate goal, which is first summer juniors and then summer nationals and then, hopefully, Olympic trials.”
Scott said swimming has kept her focused in the classroom.
“It is an awesome experience and has helped me focus on my schoolwork even more,” she said. “Even though it takes up a lot of my time, I am more driven and more able to get things done quickly.”
Her parents, Maarit and Dan Scott, have encouraged her throughout the years, and Scott said she is grateful for their support. Her focus is to make it through her senior year with high marks and shave some time off her
“My best time in the 200 freestyle is (2 minutes, 4 seconds) in the long course, meters, and 1:50.94 in short course, yards,” she said. “I just hope to get a better back-half speed and bring it home a little quicker.”