On Thursday, March 17 and Friday, March 18, Battle Creek, Mich., first-year Anna Moore traveled to the NCAA Division III Championships in Greensboro, N.C., as the only female representative of Albion College. It was the first time since 1995 that Albion had a woman compete on the national stage, and for Moore, it was the experience of a lifetime.
“For me there isn’t one part of it that was the best because the whole thing was the best,” Moore said. “I soaked in every second of the trip, including the delayed flights and running in the airport just to get to the next gate, only to find out that we missed our flight.”
Moore has been a swimmer since the age of four. At Lakeview High School, Moore swam primarily in the butterfly events, but due to swimmers shoulder, she was told not to do butterfly. She also excelled in the backstroke, and given that she holds school records in the 100 and 200 backstroke, it seems that her talents have translated to the collegiate level quite well.
Not only was Moore the first woman since 1995 to represent Albion College at the NCAA Division III Championships, but she was also the only first-year woman from the MIAA to qualify for the national meet. That’s a lot for one person to handle, but with the help of eight of the men’s swimmers, she felt right at home.
“The guys are the only ones I really hung out with,” she said. “There was one night that we were all playing cards and hanging out. I sat there and realized that they all accepted me, and they treated me like I was one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I love hanging with the guys, but after two weeks of just me and them, I was so happy to see other female.”
At Albion, Moore has her name on seven school records, including all five relay events. She earned an all-MIAA status when she won the 100 backstroke at MIAA Championships, and she was runner-up in the 200 backstroke and 400 medley relay. Moore’s name is also home to two pool records, 100-yard butterfly and 200 backstroke, at the Dean Aquatic center.
Along with the experience of swimming on the national stage, Moore’s sister, Lissa, flew in from Kuwait to watch her little sister swim. According to Moore, many people knew about her coming, but Moore never expected her sister to fly 4,000 miles to see her swim.
“A lot of people knew about it,” Moore said, “but I had no idea. So it was the best surprise I could have ever gotten.”
One of Moore’s overall goals was to swim at nationals. However, she said that she always had something in her head telling her she’d never make it. Now that she has, she is going to re-evaluate her goals and reach for a new challenge next season.
“I have almost a full 365 days until next year’s nationals, and believe me when I say I’m ready to work harder than ever, starting now, just to get me there again next year,” she said.
While the season may be over, Moore said she is going to rest her shoulders for a while, but she intends on getting back in the pool as soon as possible. One of her clearest goals is to win the 100 backstroke once again at the MIAA Championship meet, and although she admits that she was intimidated as a first-year, she knows what to expect now.
In the offseason, the team has meetings with Head Coach Jake Taber and Assistant Coach Mary Ann Egnatuk. Moore is hoping to set some short-term goals, as well as some long term goals for her career. However, she feels that those goals can’t be achieved without her teammates by her side.
One of her short-term goals for is to be the MIAA champion in the 100 backstroke for a second time, as well as being the 200 backstroke champion. As for her long-term goals, she would like to return to the national meet and place top 16.
“I couldn’t ask for better coaches standing beside me and pushing me everyday in and out of the pool,” Moore said. “No matter what my goals are, I can’t do it without the team that I have.”