Athlete of the Week Annabella Boardman ’24

Annabella Boardman, a junior from Montverde, Florida, has been dominating in the 100-yard breaststroke. Boardman recently broke the Swarthmore College and Centennial Conference record for the event and recorded the third best time across all of Division III swimming. She looks to continue her strong contribution to the Garnet who are currently ranked 16th in the nation.

Ally Scheve: What attracted you to Swarthmore’s swim program?

Annabella Boardman: When I first visited campus in the summer before my senior year, I knew I wanted to go to Swat! My recruiting trip later that year sealed the deal for me. I met Coach Karin and Coach Sam and found that their goals and values aligned with mine. I knew I wanted a swim program in which everyone is valued as a team member and where we work together to reach our highest potential. I spent a lot of time with the team that weekend, too. Everyone was invested in the team and in creating a team culture that embraces everyone for who they are. I knew that at Swat I’d find a great academic challenge and get to pursue athletics in the best environment for me. 

AS: What is your major and why?

AB: I am pursuing a Psychology Honors major and a Gender and Sexuality Studies special major/Honors minor. For me, these two fields overlap substantially, and I greatly enjoy seeing where my interests converge. With these two majors, I am learning how the social construction of dominant cultural norms contribute to our perception of the world and the implications these norms hold in the development, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders. It is so fascinating to me to look at a variety of issues on both an individual level and a societal level.

AS: What are your personal and team goals for the rest of the season?

AB: My personal goal would be to make the NCAA team! My team goal is for the men’s and women’s teams to both win Centennial Conference Championships. That would be an amazing experience. 

AS: What is your favorite thing to do with the swim team off the field?

AB: I love when we do team events off campus, such as going bowling or going to Korean BBQ. It is a great way to catch up with everyone. 

AS: What are your pre- and post-meet rituals?

AB: Before meets I make sure to get a lot of sleep. In the morning, I will go to the pool for a “wake-up swim” and then go to Sharples for breakfast. I will listen to music (a lot of Taylor Swift) on the bus ride if it’s an away meet or on my walk to the pool if we have a home meet! After meets, we usually have a team dinner where we celebrate everyone’s swims. 

AS: What is the most important lesson that you have learned from your time on the team?

AB: I would say the biggest lesson that I have learned from my time on the team is the importance of communication. Communication is the foundation for teamwork and ensures that we all show up ready to work hard together every day. 

AS: What has been your favorite moment of the season thus far?

AB: There are so many great moments, so far! My favorite would have to be when I received a video from my teammates who were watching the livestream of the meet I went to at the University of Chicago. Seeing their reactions to my race was very emotional for me because I know that I would not be where I am without them. I could not have done that swim without their support. Their love and support and their dedication and commitment in the pool is what really makes this team special. 

AS: What is your favorite part about your events?

AB: Breaststroke has always been my favorite stroke to swim. The 100 breaststroke is always a fun race to swim because of its fast pace. The 200 is more of a mental challenge for me, but I enjoy it because of all of the opportunities to learn about race strategy and how to swim my best race. 

AS: Favorite Sharples bar?

AB: Indian bar, especially if it is after a tough practice. 

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