Everyday Champion - Anna Crandall

Feb. 16, 2010

With the demanding schedule of collegiate swimming preparing her for what may come, senior Anna Crandall keeps an eye on the future and the competitive and demanding nature of law school.

As a junior, Crandall broke three individual school records in the 50, 100, and 200 yard freestyle events at the 2009 Pac-10 Championships.

'It was a really nice surprise because every year we have one or two relays that break a school record but I've never done that,' Crandall said.

Along with her three school records, Crandall as named an All-American following the 2008 season by being a part of the only Oregon State relay team (800-free) to compete at the NCAA Championships.

Crandall looks to finish her final season at Oregon State with a strong effort at the Pac-10 Championships next week and qualify, this time as an individual, for the NCAA Championships next month.

How did you end up at Oregon State?
'I ended up at Oregon State because I was interested in swimming collegiately, and after all my recruiting trips, I liked Oregon State the best.'

What did you like best about Oregon State?
'I liked the campus; it was a really beautiful campus. Larry Liebewitz is a pretty well rounded coach who has had a lot of success, and I also really liked the team.'

How did you first get involved in swimming?
'I first got involved in swimming because I took swimming lessons at our local country club, and my teacher was the coach of the country club's recreational swim team. He told me he wanted me to swim, but I was scared to try it, so promised him I would, and then avoided him for about two years. Then my Mom finally made me keep my promise, so I tried it, and ever since, I've been swimming.'

What made you decide to keep swimming?
'I decided to keep on swimming because I really loved how the sport let you push yourself as an individual; you decide to set the pace and you decide if you are going to work hard to get your goals. I created a lot of really strong friendships, because when you train with someone, you go through the same stuff. You see each other succeed, you see each other fail, and you create really strong friendships.'

What's the best part about swimming at Oregon State?
'The best part about swimming at Oregon State is that we're a member of the Pac-10 Conference, which is really an elite conference for swimming. We have a lot of Olympians and national championships. To race these girls on a regular basis is really inspiring.'

'The competition level in the Pac-10 has pushed me to be my best because it is so competitive and because there are so many fast girls, you have to give it your all to place or to make a statement.'

Describe what it meant to you to earn All-American status in 2007.
'Earning the All-American status was a dream come true for me. It was a really unique situation. That year they invited more relay teams than they usually do, and we were the very last one invited. We were joking in the locker room once we heard, `wouldn't that be cool if we could make it to the meet,' and we made it to the meet. Then we were like `well maybe we could make the top 16,' and then we got there and we made top 16. All of these seemingly impossible events just kept happening, and it was a really great experience.'

What do the three records you hold at Oregon State mean to you?
'Last year at the Pac-10's I broke three individual school records. It was a really nice surprise because every year we have one or two relays that break a school record but I've never done that. Last year was the first year that I didn't stress myself out and relaxed at the meet and to perform well and actually beat school records was a nice surprise for me.'

How did you choose communications as your major?
'I chose my major as speech communications because I was on the fence between a career in physical therapy or a career as a lawyer but my strengths really lie in verbal skills and communications so I thought that I would have more success if I were to follow the law path.'

How is it balancing your time being a student and an athlete?
'Time management is a skill you have to learn pretty early on as a swimmer because you do two-a-days pretty much from high school or even junior high on. You have to learn how to manage homework, classes, four hours of practice, and any stuff after that you want to throw in. At the college level it's even more difficult because you're training and your school load has increased.'

Talk a little about what goes into being a swimmer that people might not know.
'Swimming has a pretty rigorous schedule. We get up at 5:30 a.m. and swim from six to eight, and then we have a break for classes before we have practice again from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Three times a week we lift after we're done with all of our swimming for the day and some of us do spinning and running individually or with our weight coaches, so it's a pretty full load each week.'

How has your scholarship from BASF helped in your collegiate career?
'I really appreciate my scholarship from the Beaver Athletic Student Fund because it allowed me to swim at this pac-10 school and I wouldn't have been able to otherwise.'

How do you want to finish out your swimming career at Oregon State?
'At the Pac-10's it's most important for me to have fun, since it's potentially the last meet of my career. If everything goes as planned, I hope we all swim better than last year, and hopefully I'll break some of my old school records and my biggest goal is to qualify again for the NCAA championships in March.'

What do you do to try to help give back to your community?
'Because of the swim team's really intense schedule we don't have a lot of time to do community service but I do think it's very important to give back to the community that supports us. Every Christmas I participate in `Sub for Santa' or something similar. I think the holidays are the best time of year to remember others needs and it's a really great experience to see the faces on the little kids.'

Talk about the swim team as a family. What do you like about it?
'What I love about the swim team outside of school is that we have a really great ability to make each other laugh so whenever we're hanging out there's tons of laughter and smiles.'

What are your plans after Oregon State?
'After OSU I plan on applying to law school. I still have my fifth year of school to plan out new things but I'm really excited to start on the application process.'

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