Whether running a lap for the Aberdeen Roncalli track team or swimming a lap for the Aberdeen Swim Club, Anna Schmidt has found a way to make life a bit more enjoyable for her teammates.
The recent Roncalli graduate has been a member of the swim team for the past decade. While Stingrays Coach Sam Gaddie is still in his first year with the program he has noticed the impact that Schmidt has on others.
“Anna brings a lot of encouragement on a daily basis,” Gaddie said. “She’s one of those people, regardless of how difficult things are getting in practice, she can rally those around her to continue pushing on it. That’s extremely valuable to any team effort to do something excellent.”
It should come as no surprise that Schmidt said that what she will remember most about her days with the team is the friendships that she’s established with her teammates.
“I’ve known most of these people for at least 5 or 6 years and I see them every day in the summer, twice a day, so to not see them that often is going to be hard, for sure,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt has decided to help the program in the future with some coaching duties. It’s something she is looking forward to.
“I’ve been giving private swim lessons for a while now, so I like helping with little kids and helping them learn to swim,” Schmidt said. “Sam asked me if I wanted to help coach, so I said, yeah, because I like getting to know the little kids on our team and I like helping out.”
Gaddie believes that Schmidt has a personality that will fit right into coaching.
“She’s extremely social. She’s very easy to get along with, talk to, has great rapport with our younger swimmers,” Gaddie said. “The wealth of knowledge that she has gained as an athlete over her swimming career … (can) kind of push those who are desiring to reach the same levels.”
When asked what’s the best advice she could give them, Schmidt paused for a second and responded, “I don’t know. The thing I would say to take away from swimming is just keeping doing it so that you love it. Don’t push yourself to the point that you don’t like it anymore. It’s supposed to be fun, so make it fun.”
There’s one race in particular that is fun for Schmidt. It’s the 50-meter freestyle.
“It’s just all out, fast to the wall,” she said. “It’s just a race to get your hand on the wall first.”
Schmidt competed in cross country, and track and field while at Roncalli.
She noted that there are things in common among the three sports she participated in.
“I think they’re all really similar, honestly. Swimming, and then cross country and track are just really similar, because you’re racing as a team, but you’re racing individually,” she noted. “So I think in all of the sports I do I have to show up and do my best for my team and I can’t rely on them to get me any farther or get me any points. I have to perform myself, too.”
There is no question as to which one her favorite is, though.
“Swimming is by far my favorite. I’ve always loved the water,” Schmidt said. “I’ve been doing it forever. Running isn’t my favorite, but I loved the people I ran with so that’s why I did it.”
Swimming is on the minds of many these days, especially with the Olympics scheduled to start this weekend. You can be sure that Schmidt will be watching swimming when she isn’t in the pool herself.
“I love watching swimming on TV. I love the Olympics, I love watching it,” she said. “I think it does help the sport. A lot of people watch Olympic swimming. A lot of people do. It’s good exposure.”
As for Schmidt, she will be competing for Augustana University next season. However, next up is her final State Swim Meet in Brookings this weekend.
To see results of the meet this weekend click go to the following link:
Gaddie said that Schmidt is performing well and may have saved her best for last.
“She’s been someone who is zeroing in on some of the best stuff she’s done in practice,” Gaddie said. “She’s hitting it all really well. I’m kind of excited to see what she has left in the tank.”
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