Marian High School swimmer Josie Hood leads another stellar team

Woodhouse Auto Family Athlete of the Week
WOWT 6 News Live at 6:30
Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 11:20 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Marian Catholic High School’s girls swim team has claimed more state championships than any other school, including the last two titles. To maintain that type of success takes leadership, in and out of the pool. This week’s Athlete of the Week is doing just that.

Last year as a sophomore, Josie Hood didn’t exactly just sit around, winning the individual state title in the 100 free and sharing gold with the likes of JoJo Randby in the relay. So entering her junior season, she said there was no extra pressure.

”One of our coaches says pressure’s a privilege,” Hood said before practice at UNO. “So it’s a privilege to get this pressure and I don’t think it adds anything extra.”

Hood also avoided outside distractions by making an early college decision, committing to the University of Iowa, allowing her to focus on more than posting individual times to impress recruiters.

”Just getting it out of the way I can just do what I do best, like, swim,” she said. “My goals are based more on developing as a person and as a swimmer, not so much a time.”

Marian’s head coach BJ Christiansen, has seen some greats in the program. Marian’s Swimming and Diving team is the winningest program in Nebraska history, with 15 state titles. They are favored to do so again this year, and Josie is favored in four individual events she swims as well as any relays she might anchor.

“Josie’s still got a year and a half left but I think she’s shaping up to be one of the best we’ve had in our school’s history.”

This year she’s perfect in her events, leading the state in the 500 free, 100 fly, 100 free and 200 free. And while some may see swimming as an individual sport, Josie’s focus isn’t singular.

“The team is everything,” she said. “We know that every single one of us has to contribute to the end goal, that’s winning state. That’s what we all want. And so every day in practice we come and we know that end goal and we all work so hard together, it’s a great experience (with) this team in general because this year is special.”

”She’s super focused under the surface but she likes to have fun, she’ll dance, talk to her teammates,” Christiansen said. “But when it comes time to work, she does the work and she’s willing to do everything she needs... (She’s) just a tremendous young lady. I’m honored to have the privilege of coaching her.”

The NSAA state swim finals are February 25 and 26 in Lincoln.

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