Marco swimmer Lisa Cottage-Ramnick reflects on historic season

Naples Daily News
Lisa Cottage-Ramnick competes in the second heat of the Girls 100 Yard Breaststroke during the preliminaries of the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 1A Swimming and Diving Finals on Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, at Sailfish Splash Waterpark in Stuart.  
CQ: Lisa Cottage-Ramnick

Marco Island junior Lisa Cottage-Ramnick had to wait a few days before finding out if she had made history or not.

After finishing sixth in the 100-meter breaststroke at the regional meet Nov. 4, she was unsure if she had become the first Manta Ray swimmer to qualify for state.

The 24 slots for the state meet are determined by the results of all four regional meets. Regional winners are automatic qualifiers, but the rest of the field isn’t set until all the results are in.

“I was checking the (FHSAA) site every day to see if they had the results up,” Cottage-Ramnick said. “I didn’t know if my season was done or if I was going to state. When I saw I had made it, I was really proud of myself. I thought ‘I finally did it, I’m the first person to get there.’”

Cottage-Ramnick missed qualifying for the finals by three-tenths of a second during Friday’s state meet in Stuart, finishing 17th.

MIA swim team: Regionals are next, then hopefully to state

“I was kind of mad I missed out on the finals,” she said. “But then again, I gave it my all. Nothing more I can do, except train harder for next season.”

Manta Rays coach Kamal Farhat says Cottage-Ramnick is already doing exactly that.

“She’s very determined, she really wants to go to the top (as a senior),” he said. “She’s no quitter. When you get a taste of something, you want more of it.”

Cottage-Ramnick said getting some experience at the state meet as a junior will only help her prepare for next season.

“Now I know what it’s like,” she said. “How the pool is, how the meet is actually run. I also know what I need to do to get better.”

She’s hoping to have some company next season. Fellow junior Susan Faremouth just missed qualifying in the 200 and 500 freestyle events, and the Manta Rays had a pair of relays that also advanced to regionals this year. With her and Farhat the only Marco Island representatives at the state meet, she experienced more down time than she would have had her teammates qualified for state.

“While I was there, I kept thinking it would be so much fun if the whole team was here,” Cottage-Ramnick said. “It gets boring sitting by yourself waiting for my event. And since my event came later in the meet, it’s a lot of sitting and waiting. You really miss that team atmosphere when everyone is together, cheering each other on.”

Small team making big waves

As for goals during her senior season, Cottage-Ramnick has set the bar high.

“I’d love to qualify in both my events and get a medal,” she said. “I know I’ve got to put in the work, but I definitely believe it’s possible.”