Q&A with Anne Summer Myers
Senior Anne Summer Myers and the 11th-ranked Virginia women’s swimming team competes for the final time this season at the 2011 NCAA Championships. The meet begins Thursday and runs through Saturday at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center on the Texas campus in Austin. Live results for all six sessions will be linked on VirginiaSports.com and ESPN3.com will have a live webcast of finals on Friday and Saturday night. Myers, who hails from Richmond, Va., recently sat down with VirginiaSports.com to talk about her growth over four years, begin a distance swimmer and her recent experience at the NCAA Sports and Entertainment Summit.
Question: How do you think you have grown since your first year?
Myers: I think the biggest thing that has changed is my work ethic and being goal-oriented. When I first got here, there was a lot of stuff going on that made me kind of reserved and not my normal, outgoing self. Over the years I have become more comfortable.
Question: How would you describe the season up to this point?
Myers: Individually, it’s been my best year both in and out of the pool. It’s my last season to swim so I have to give it everything I’ve got. As a team, this year has been so different than other years because in the past we knew it was all ours to lose. This year we have had a couple of setbacks and everyone has had to really step up their game and help score every point possible. ACCs were a good example of that because we have never had to come back like that before.
Question: What is your favorite event to swim and your best event to swim?
Myers: My best is the mile. My favorite is probably the mile I guess. It’s just more of a mental struggle.
Question: What do you think about when you’re swimming for that long?
Myers: Pretty much everything. Sometimes I sing a song – usually a pump-up song from one of our CDs. And then about 600 in I start thinking about how bad it hurts. And then it’s a mental struggle to keep my arms moving and stay on pace and from there I just take it 50 at a time and think about holding that pace and doing the little things right.
Question: What is the hardest part about being a distance swimmer?
Myers: Sometimes around taper time it gets frustrating because everybody drops way down on yardage and swims for 45 minutes and we’re still going for two hours. We can’t drop done that much. But I like the mental challenge and last year was a turning point for me. I learned how to push myself.
Question: What are your goals for NCAAs?
Myers: As a team, we would like to be top-10 again. Individually, it would be nice to go all top times again and I want to finish top-16 (honorable mention All-America) in the mile.
Question: What was your recent experience like at the NCAA Sports and Entertainment Summit?
Myers: I found out about it through our Life Skills director Phil Gates and immediately knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. So I applied and was selected and found out only about a week-and-a-half before I had to be out there. It was the greatest experience of my life. Traveling to L.A. by myself and not knowing anyone who would be there – having to introduce myself and all that – was a very positive and motivating experience for me. There were a lot of great speakers and I met a lot of people who were able to give me a lot of insight. I also met a lot of amazing student-athletes from all over the country and we became such great friends in a very short amount of time.
Question: What is your major? What are your career goals?
Myers: My degree will be in English when I graduate in May and I want to go into sports broadcasting. I definitely want to be on camera. Ideally, that is my long-term goal.
Question: What has been your favorite class at UVa?
Myers: My favorite is probably my marketing class. I took it last fall with Professor George Sampson and I had never taken anything like it before. We had some good guest lecturers and it was really focused on marketing the arts. Our final project was making a marketing plan for a group that you are involved in at UVa so I did a hypothetical one on the swimming and diving teams.
Question: What is special about your class, you group of eight who were the first to win four ACC championships?
Myers: All of us have really been there for each other. We really took the time to get to know each other before we got here and as soon as we all committed we immediately started thinking ahead to what we wanted to do for this school and the dynasty that we wanted to start. Every day it has been about building this program to that higher level.
Question: What advice would you give to future UVa swimmers?
Myers: Don’t come in thinking you know all the answers or it’s going to be like anything you’ve done before because it’s not. College swimming is completely different. This program is different than every other program out there. Don’t get discouraged; there’s going to be a lot of stuff that gets you upset. First year is the toughest by far because you have to deal with so many things at once. You have to stay positive and know that eventually things will come together.