GoDuke.com: What has been your proudest moment at Duke?
Francesca Tocci: There is one moment that stands out for me more than all the others. It was when I did a 25 for the first time since my surgery. As soon as I touched the wall, my teammates at practice had stopped and were clapping for me. It meant so much to me that I was actually brought to tears. It just showed what an amazing team I'm a part of.
GoDuke.com: What is the most misunderstood thing about swimming?
FT: I don't think people really understand how much we practice and how much we do. We're doing doubles every day and we're lifting. The most misunderstood thing would be how hard we work at our sport to gain a tenth of a second.
GoDuke.com: What has been your favorite part about being a Duke student-athlete?
FT: The athletic community is something that is unlike anything else.
GoDuke.com: What has been your favorite class at Duke?
FT: One of my favorite classes was one of the freshman seminars I took with two of my teammates. It was a theater seminar. We're not good at acting but it was hilarious. There were a lot of other athletes in it too, which was really fun.
GoDuke.com: What is your favorite spot on campus?
FT: I genuinely enjoy just hanging out in our team room because that's where I get to see everyone. Especially being injured, it's been really important to still be included with everyone and see people going in and out.
GoDuke.com: Are there any words of wisdom you'd like to pass along to freshmen and future Blue Devils?
FT: Take one day at a time and live in the moment. As corny as it sounds, I've just realized with everything that's happened, it goes by so quickly and a hard practice is over in two hours.
GoDuke.com: When did you first start swimming?
FT: I was actually bribed to swim my first 25. My babysitter had kind of thrown me in the water and was teaching me how to swim. My parents said if I swam a 25, I could get any toy at Toys-R-Us. I was three and just jumped in and swam a 25. I didn't start competitively swimming until I was 10.
GoDuke.com: Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
FT: Definitely my mom. Just the support and what she's gone through to help me and my siblings get where we are is incredible. The strength that she has, she's just someone that I look up to and I hope to be like someday.
GoDuke.com: If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
FT: I would buy a house in Florida for my family that we could all go to because we haven't been able to go on many family vacations recently. Also, I'd probably get a new pool for the swim team.
GoDuke.com: What is your favorite midnight snack?
FT: Tostitos chips are my favorite.
GoDuke.com: If you weren't a swimmer, what other sport would you try?
FT: I would like to say lacrosse, but I'm pretty uncoordinated. I used to play in high school.
GoDuke.com: What is one possession you can't live without?
FT: A ring I got for my sixth grade graduation. My babysitter gave it to me, and she got it when she was 16, so it's really special.
GoDuke.com: What is your favorite restaurant in Durham?
FT: Probably Tobacco Road. I've loved going there and watching the Celtics' games with my roommate because nobody else will watch Boston games with me.