The view has been a lot different this fall for Skyline senior Marnie Knoop.

Up to this point in her prep swimming career, Knoop has followed in the wake of a number of stars at Skyline High — Sara Nicponski, Kristina Evans, Anna Crandall and KC Albiston among them.

Those swimmers have helped the Eagles, winners of the last six girls state championships, to become the dominant name in Utah prep swimming.

However, Nicponski, Evans, Crandall and Albiston have all since moved onto Division I collegiate programs, and, consequently, Knoop is no longer following anyone at Skyline High.

Now, she's leading the way.

Skyline's girls program remains full of talented swimmers, but almost all of them are extremely young. Accordingly, Knoop, a 100-yard fly specialist, has gone from following the lead of other great swimmers to becoming the unquestioned team leader at Skyline.

It's a challenge she relishes.

Having a good workout leader in practice is always an important component of a successful swim team. Given, however, just how young Skyline is, it's particularly crucial this year.

And Knoop has stepped up.

"Up to now, she's been very good in a workout leadership role," said coach Joe Pereira. "She's brought up that freshman-sophomore crew that's just coming around."

Though Skyline's girls team is very young, it remains a heavy favorite to capture Skyline's seventh consecutive 5A title next February. Knoop noted that she has enjoyed working with talented youngsters like Nikki Hansen, Angela Bennion and Alexsa Savage because of their work ethic.

"They understand everything, and the reason I like swimming with them so much is they want to be here every day," said Knoop. Entering her final season of high school swimming, Knoop hopes to capture an elusive individual title. Though she has been part of four state championship relay teams at Skyline, she hasn't managed to break through yet individually.

As a freshman and sophomore, Knoop finished behind Kearns' Jennifer Fredsall, now at the University of Utah, and Brighton's Ana Agy, an Olympic-trials qualifier who swims at the University of Arizona, in the 100 fly.

Losing to those stars was hardly a disappointment. With Fredsall and Knoop gone a season ago, however, the path seemed paved for Knoop to win the 100 fly.

But it didn't quite work out that way.

"My freshman and sophomore years, swimming against Ana Agy and Jennifer Fredsall, were just amazing. I had more fun watching them battling it out than focusing on my own race," she said. "Then last year was a really big letdown for me. I had a lot of high going in, but I just got over it, I guess.

"I was seeded first (in the 100 fly) going in by over a second, and I just freaked out. What can you say? But I learned a lesson from it."

In 2007, Knoop said that, on top of trying to collect two more relay wins at state, her big individual goals will be to net All-American times in the 100 fly and 500 free.

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