April 8, 2015
Melissa Belote Ripley (left) is joined by her son Erik, daughter Rachel and husband Rich.
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Melissa Belote Ripley’s former swimming coach Ed Solotar had two requirements: “You’ve got to want to win and want to get better,” said Belote Ripley, who was born in Washington, D.C., but grew up in Springfield. “To have to have that burning desire to always be the best, a fire in your belly to really want to win, to work -- that was easy for me, that’s just how I was.”