Ashley Ruf

Senior 2 group swimmer, Ashley Ruf, has spent most of her life as a member of Coral Springs Swim Club.  Growing up in nearby Parkland, Ruf began swimming with the Mullins Pool Red Group at the age of 5 ½.  She has continued as a member of CSSC for the last 12 years and fondly remembers her first swim coach, Coach Heather.  As the St. Thomas Aquinas senior prepares to graduate from high school, Ruf is also preparing to hang up her fins and goggles, saying farewell to competitive swimming.  Ashley will next be attending the University of Florida, where she will focus on academics and other activities.  She has not fully decided on a field of study, but business and pre-law are two areas that she is considering.  Ruf chose UF because of the encouraging atmosphere that she experienced when she visited campus.  She also spoke to many friends and current UF students, who all had very positive things to say about the school.  She is happy to be staying in Florida for her undergraduate studies.

Ruf has always had a rigorous academic schedule, which prevented her from swimming for St. Thomas her freshman year.  However, she did swim high school season for the next three years, competing at BCAA’s and the Class 4A High School District and Regional meets among others.  During her sophomore season, Ruf had a successful Regional meet, shaving 1.54 seconds off her 100 freestyle seed time from the District meet.  As a member of CSSC’s Senior 2 group, Ashley appreciates that Coach Raphael has always been positive and understanding of her commitments outside of swimming, and he has helped her attain the academic and athletic balance that she was seeking as a high school student.

After graduation, Ruf will have a very short amount of down time, as she will begin summer session at UF on July 1.  Ashley is looking forward to becoming involved in new ways of learning and thinking, and she’s also looking forward to the independence that comes with moving away from home and being on your own for the first time.  At St. Thomas Aquinas, Ruf was involved with Dance Marathon, which in its second year, raised over $23,000 for Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and CMN.  It’s an event that is very important to Ruf and she’s excited that UF has a similar event that she can devote her time to.  Dance Marathon at the University of Florida is one of the first five founding Dance Marathon programs in the nation and over the last 24 years has raised more than $15.2 million for the kids at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital.

Ashley will miss the friendships that she made through being a lifetime swimmer, as well as the routine that swimming provides to those athletes. However, she is looking forward to the challenge of developing her own routine without the rigid structure of a swim schedule.  Senior 2 Coach Raphael Lima says, “Ashley Ruf, besides being a great swimmer, is also a great girl with a brilliant future ahead.”