The view on the Citi Field scoreboard of Ali Rusch as she sang the national anthem Sunday prior to the Mets game.
Ali Rusch with Mets third baseman David Wright.
Ali Rusch, a swimmer at New Canaan High School, is a familiar presence singing the national anthem prior to Rams sporting events, most recently Saturday night before a football game with Trinity Catholic.
Less than 24 hours later she got to play before her biggest audience yet.
Rusch was invited to sing the anthem before the Mets’ home game Sunday against the Phillies.
“It was pretty surreal,” Rusch said. “I got to feel like a celebrity for the day. I saw the locker rooms and offices. I got to hang out in the dugout and take pictures. I got the whole nine yards.”
With the help of a family friend who works for Citibank, Rusch was able to send in a recording for consideration and was asked to perform. She was given the choice of several dates and selected Sunday.
“I was more nervous during the sound check than anything,” Rusch said of the experience. “It was the first time everyone there could hear me. I didn’t have time to be nervous. They just bought me right out onto the field. It worked out. It’s probably better that it happened so fast. The coolest thing was looking at the box behind home plate where my family and friends were. It was amazing to see all them and thousands of people I didn’t know applauding.”
While Rusch, a senior, is an accomplished athlete who is considering pursuing swimming in college, her primary goal is for a career in television or film acting. She has already appeared in several school plays.
While Rusch was getting ready for today’s big meet with Wilton, she said she hopes to never completely abandon sharing her voice with others.
“I still take voice lessons,” Rusch said. “I’ve always loved singing and I’ll keep singing as long as anyone will listen.”