Senior Spotlight - Annie Wang

Adam Depmore
May 7, 2019
For this week, we put the spotlight on Annie Wang. Annie has been on the team since 2007 and owns seveal team records including the 50 free, 100 free and 100 Butterfly.
How did you get into swimming?
At a young age, I took tennis and swim lessons. Tennis never interested me, especially since I could never hit the ball over the net. However, swimming did despite the fact that I was deeply terrified of putting my face into the water. I then started to take more "advanced" lessons with the one and only Dax Hill before I decided to swim competitively on Dolphins for 1 summer and later LSAC. 
Did you get recruited to swim in college?
Yes, some college coaches did email me about swimming in college. However, I decided I didn't want to swim in college. If you want to swim in college I would recommend making a recruiting account so colleges are able to reach out to you. However, the schools that you want to go to may not contact you so be sure to fill out the questionnaire that many colleges provide on their website to show your interest in their school's swim team. 
Why do you not want to swim in college?
While swimming has been a huge part of my life thus far and opened up a ton of opportunities for me, I would like to experience new things that college has to offer. Furthermore, I would like to focus more on my academics as I plan on becoming a doctor. While I might not be on a college swim team, I will still continue to swim for exercise and fun in my free time!
Where are you going to school?
The University of Texas at Austin

Did you receive any scholarships?
I have applied to multiple scholarships but I will not find out if I received any until later into the year. 
The one scholarship I have received is the RRHS swim scholarship.
Scholarships are super important because it's basically free money for your college education. There are plenty out there for everyone, you just have to take some time to look. Be sure to research about them before or at the beginning of senior year since the deadline for each varies. 
What is your major?
I plan on majoring in nutritional sciences and taking the courses required to go to medical school!

Recommendations for young kids?
1. Be open to trying new things in life.  Even if you don't think you'll enjoy something, do it anyways. You don't truly know what interests you until you go out and experience what life has to offer.
2. Go out of your comfort zone. Being uncomfortable will only allow you to grow into a better individual.

3. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Sometimes, we are stuck on the idea that we have to fit in a certain mold to please everyone. However, it’s important to understand that it’s okay to be different even if some don’t approve. Just ignore the hate and learn to love who you truly are.

Favorite memory?
It's hard to choose just one memory; however, one that will always stick with me happened when Coach Matt was still a coach. Coach Matt had given us the most dreaded set: "The Death by Butterfly Set." As the name suggests we swam a lot and I mean A LOT of laps of butterfly. Once we finished though, we were presented with a cookie cake to celebrate our defeat of the set. The feeling of accomplishing such a painful set was amazing.

Are you swimming in college?
No, I have decided that I want to explore new interests that I have besides swimming and college provides a great opportunity for me to do this with its various clubs and sports it offers. 
Academic advice?
Be sure to take higher level classes like AP or dual credit which provide great opportunities for you to receive college credit. Colleges like to see that you can handle the workload of college-level classes. Also, manage your time wisely! In high school, your schedule will definitely be busy and it's important to focus on what's important like homework and swim practices. Don't spend the majority of your time on social media and complain about not having enough time to go to practice or finish your school work. However, do not overload yourself. Have a balanced life where you also pave some time to relax and have fun.

Who is your favorite coach?
This is a no brainer. My favorite coach of all time would definitely be...ALL OF THEM! ;) Each one has influenced and shaped me into the person I am today and for that I am thankful. 
Coach Dax taught me to be more confident in the skills that I have and always pushed me into working harder to reach the goals I wanted. 
Coach Adam taught me that it's okay to have fun and relax. Swimming should be something that you do because you enjoy it not because you feel obligated to do it.
Coach Gabe taught me that things that seem unrelated are somehow connected. This idea can help you overcome new obstacles that you face with the knowledge that you already have. To connect this back to swimming, freestyle and breaststroke seem like two totally different strokes. However, Gabe mentioned that the motion of the freestyle catch is similar to that of the breaststroke pull. I never was great at breaststroke, but after realizing how the pulls of each stroke were related, I was able to transfer some of my knowledge about freestyle to try to improve my breaststroke. 
Pointers?
Be sure to join clubs, especially in high school. This is a great way to make friends and get involved in your school and community. It also shows colleges that you are passionate about things other than school (and swimming of course).