The 2013 high school swim and dive season wrapped up on Friday for Mosley High School, and a handful of Dolphins traveled down south for the 3A State Meet. A year removed for their second of back to back State Runner Up finishes, Mosley was young this year, but were led by a strong Senior swimmer in Jonathan Ratliff, and for him swimming isn't just a sport- it's a lifestyle.
"A typical day starts at 5:25. I wake up, roll out of bed, swim at Mosley's pool. Swim practice until 7:00. Go through school. Run home, run out to the pool. Don't leave here until like 7:30." Wake up repeat? "Yeah."
But that dedication has paid off, as Jonathan took home 2nd in the 100 Butterfly and finished 3rd in the 200 Free at State this weekend- and those are two medals he'll add to the gold he received last year in the 200 Medlay Relay.
"He's an incredible leader," said Mosley Sophomore teammate Liam Alexander. "He takes up for everybody. Sometimes people will be slacking and he's always there to motivate you and get you through any practice there is."
"I feel like I owe it to them a little bit because when I was growing up, when I was a freshman, I had those people there for me," said Jonathan. "I want them to have the same people there for them, if not better leaders. Showing them the ropes, I think, is very important."
He's not just showing his teammates the ropes when it comes to swimming, as Jonathan is also making waves in classroom- as he's ranked 4th in his class with a 4.66 GPA.
"Genius, genius," laughed Liam. "He is a genius."
"It started off being good at school, then came swimming," said Jonathan. "I started off being a really good student and then swimming was kind of built up after that. That's always been something highly encouraged in our family, and really important to me."
What's also really important is staying focused, as his swims at State were qualifying times for Junior National's next month, so Jonathan's season is really just beginning, even if his time at Mosley is over.
"I don't want to set my legacy in stone," he said. "I'd rather set a certain goal and then be like, I'm satisfied with the legacy I've left."
With a handful of State Finals medals, that legacy is pretty solid. Jonathan has interest from several schools for swimming at the next level, but says he won't make a decision until the Spring. Wherever he ends up, he plans on studying Engineering.