Sara Francisovich '14

The student-athletes at The University of Scranton are standouts in the classroom and community, as well as on the playing field. Sara Francisovich '14 is an example of just that.

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Year: Junior
Major: Early & Primary Teacher Education
Hometown: Frederick, Md.
Sport: Swimming
Favorite Events: 100 Backstroke, 200 Backstroke, 100 Freestyle
Injury: Torn ACL, Senior Year of High School

Entering this season, you were twice named as a Landmark Conference first-team selection in swimming. What’s the key to getting off the blocks quickly?

Swimming is a sport that takes a lot of dedication and commitment. Before a race when you are on the block, you have to be focused and prepared. When I am on the blocks, the only thing I am focusing on is the upcoming race. I tune out the crowd and all other swimmers and completely focus myself on the race. The start is an imperative part of the race. It is important to have a great reaction time and be the first person off the blocks. I practice my starts over and over so when it comes time to actually race I can be the first swimmer off the blocks.

Do you have any pre-race routines or superstitions? 

Yes, I have a few. The night before a swim meet, I have to paint my nails and each week it has to be a different color. Each meet I always wear the same cap and goggles, and I only wear them at swim meets, never at practice. I always ask the same person to help me put my swim cap on before each race. Before each event I do the same stretches right before I get on the block or enter the water. Before a backstroke event, I always jump in the water on the right side of the block. Walking up to the blocks before each event, I always wear my warm-up jacket or a towel. 

What played into your decision to attend the University?

When looking at colleges, I wanted a school that was not close to home and was a place where I did not know a lot of people. Scranton is three hours from Frederick, Md. – a perfect distance for me. It was a good distance away yet still close enough if I needed to go home. A friend of mine, Carrie Gillespie ’12, graduated from the University last year. We are from the same hometown and both swam on the same club team. My senior year I came to visit and watched one of her swim meets. I fell in love with the school and team, and decided Scranton was the best place for me.

We heard rumors that you played soccer in high school. What was your first love, soccer or swimming?

That’s correct; I played soccer from age five all the way through high school. I was on a club soccer team (F.C. Frederick Soccer Club) from age seven to 18 and played for my high school team. However, I also began swimming when I was five years old and also swam for a club team (Frederick Area Swim Team) and my high school team. Every member of my family did both sports, so I grew up around both of them and loved both of them. I could never pick one over the other. I would have to say now that swimming is the sport I love, and am glad I decided to continue my swimming career on the college level.

What is your favorite place on campus?

When the weather is nice and it is warm enough to sit outside, my favorite place on campus is the patio outside the DeNaples Center. I love sitting outside at the tables and talking with friends.

You are studying early and primary teacher education. In one sentence describe what it makes a person a good teacher?

A good teacher is someone who is devoted to their students and passionate about what they do. 

Who was your favorite athlete growing up?

My favorite athlete growing up was Mia Hamm. I think every girl who played soccer wanted to be her. Michael Phelps became one of my favorite athletes because of his talent in the pool and because he is from Baltimore, Md.

Facebook or Twitter?

I just recently began using Twitter, so right now I’d have to say I am a bigger Twitter fan.

Favorite movie?

My favorite movie is “Remember the Titans.” I can watch the movie a million times and still love it.

What is your worst sports-related injury? How did it affect you? 

As you know I played soccer since I was young and all the way through high school. My worst sports-related injury was because of soccer. My senior year of high school, I tore my ACL during one of our playoff games. It affected me greatly. Prior to that, I had never had any other injury, not even a minor ankle sprain. This injury brought an end to my season and my soccer career. I had to miss the remaining games, and watch my team from the sidelines. This injury also affected my swimming. I also had to miss the great majority of my senior swim season. After surgery and physical therapy, my training suffered. I was limited in the different things that I could do at practice. It was a long time before I was able to compete again. 

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