WE SPEND a lot of time on SwimDaily focusing on those models whose names have become synonymous with SI Swimsuit. But as the saying goes, once a Swimsuit Model, always a Swimsuit Model (the Marines stole that one from us), so on One Hot Wonder Wednesdays we honor those models whose time with us, while fleeting, definitely made an impact.

BEFORE SHE dazzled us in the pages of SI Swimsuit, Melissa Baker was a competitive gymnast from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. When we got our hands on the green eyed brunette, though, we whisked her off to St. John to shoot with Raphael Mazzucco. The resulting images earned her Swim's Rookie of the Year crown. 

Then, fate happened. Of sorts. As I searched for updates on the model, I happened upon her Instagram page, and wouldn't you know it—she posted this yesterday:

This was all the SI stuff I was in when I was rookie of the year in 2008 #sportsillustrated #rookieoftheyear #workforit #workforwhatyouget #hardwork #passion #dreambig #dreams #accomplishyourdreams #reachforthestars

Melissa, now 26, has since forayed her modeling career into one as a hair stylist.

And wouldya look at that? Suddenly everyone needs a trim.


VIDEO: Poetry in motion

Swim Daily, Melissa Baker

Go behind the scenes of Melissa Baker's 2008 shoot in St. John