PHOENIX, Arizona, January 30. NCAA champion Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace joins today's edition of The Morning Swim Show after competing in her final dual meet for the Auburn Tigers.
Vanderpool-Wallace, the reigning NCAA champion in the 50 and 100 freestyles, talks about her expectations for the championship season, in terms of placing and times, and also looks ahead to the Olympics, where she'll likely race in the final of the 50 free for the Bahamas. Be sure to visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.
Special Thanks to Finis for sponsoring the Morning Swim Show's interview segments in the Finis Monitor.
Download The FINIS Custom Suit Catalog
Download The FINIS 2012 Product Catalog
Visit Finis to learn more about their innovative products for aquatic athletes.
Sponsored by Competitor Swim Products
(Note: This is an automated service where some typos and grammatical errors may occur.)
Peter Busch: This is The Morning Swim Show for Monday, January 30th 2012. I'm your host Peter Busch. In the FINIS monitor today we'll talk to Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace. She's the defending NCAA champ in the 50 and 100 freestyle and Arianna joins us right now in the FINIS monitor from Auburn, Alabama. Hey Arianna, welcome to The Morning Swim Show. How are you?
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: Good. How are you?
Peter Busch: Good. So I saw that you swam pretty fast long course this past weekend. Congrats.
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: Thank you very much. It was exciting.
Peter Busch: Good to get some of that experience in this Olympic year?
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: Yes, it was our first race long course this season so it was different but fun.
Peter Busch: For the Bahamas do you have to qualify for the team or is that already done?
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: It's already done. We don't have very many swimmers from the Bahamas and not very many other people swimming the 100 freestyle so I was pretty lucky.
Peter Busch: No, you certainly don't. Has a Bahamas swimmer ever made an Olympic medal?
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: No, I don't think a Bahamas swimmer has ever made an Olympic semi-finals.
Peter Busch: Well I think you're definitely going to be the first there and then some.
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: Hopefully.
Peter Busch: Well before we get back to the Olympics obviously it's collegiate season right now. I want to ask you how you're doing and how the team's doing. What's more likely this year, 20 point in the 50 or 45 in the 100?
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: Who knows? We'll see. I have no idea.
Peter Busch: Which one would surprise you more?
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: I don't know that I would be surprised by either one; I'm going to be excited no matter what I go. If I go a 46 I'm still going to be happy with it as long as I win.
Peter Busch: She's not going to be surprised if she gets a 20 point or a 45, she just said it here on The Morning Swim Show.
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: No, that's not what I meant. I'm going to be happy with everything that I do.
Peter Busch: We like the confidence, Arianna, and I know your coach does too, maybe.
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: Maybe.
Peter Busch: Well how are you feeling this senior year?
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: It kind of hit me this past weekend that this is going to be my last year swimming for Auburn as a college athlete and I kind of cried a little bit, I'm kind of sad. It's weird that it's come up so fast, four years pass by a lot faster than you think it will, but I'm super excited that I'm going to finish off my career with these girls.
Peter Busch: Last year you had a phenomenal meet at SECs and in the NCAAs, but you swam a little bit faster at conference in some of the events. We've seen that happen with a lot of swimmers before, they swim a little bit faster in conference than they do in the championships. What did you learn about that process that you think will prepare you better for NCAAs this year?
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: I don't know that I've really learned anything. I know that Brett's going to take care of me when it comes to SECs and NCAAs. I kind of just do whatever he tells me to do. It's kind of a different level of excitement we had at SECs and NCAAs so I'm hoping that we can carry it on into NCAAs.
Peter Busch: I've heard that – some people say the SEC is more exciting than the NCAAs.
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: It's different with our men's team. It's kind of a different kind of energy that we have going on but we're going to figure out a way to keep that energy going.
Peter Busch: The team itself – I imagine the goal is to get Auburn back into the top five.
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: Oh, for sure.
Peter Busch: What are the chances of that happening this year?
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: I have a ton of faith in our women's team this year. I don't know if it's because I'm a senior or whatever it is but I'm super excited to see where these girls can go. I know we have a ton of potential on our team. I'm not putting any limits on where we can go.
Peter Busch: All right, let's focus again on the Olympics here. I would say at this point you are a good chance to make the final in the 50free. How do you like your medal chances?
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: I don't really like to think about getting a medal or whatever. I would be super excited if I came eighth in finals because it's really exciting for the country and I'm happy to be able to support my country and have them support me. It will be awesome to get a medal but I'm not going to say that I would cry if I can't make it.
Peter Busch: I was talking to Brett earlier about the big difference between long course and short course for sprinters and he said it's about a sustained rhythm. The short course is choppier. And for you and a lot of other swimmers it's about getting experience. Do you like long course swimming as much as you like short course? Is it tough for you to make the adjustment?
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: I actually like long course a lot more than I like short course. I only started swimming short course yards my sophomore year of high school six years ago. I was doing long course all my life. It's kind of weird now when I go back to long course and it feels funky because it used to feel funky to swim yards so I love long course season and I'm excited for it to come.
Peter Busch: Why do you like long course better?
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: I don't really like turns that much and so it's a lot better when I can just keep swimming.
Peter Busch: Very good, got it. What is something though that once the college season is over you've got that one thing you have to work on to give you a chance to medal this summer at the Olympics?
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: I think that Brett and I have been working a lot on everything throughout short course season so kind of going into long course season is just sustaining what I've been working on and keeping that stuff in mind. I think a lot of it for me is just mental as a lot of people may or may not know, I'm kind of short, so standing up on the blocks next to those girls is something that I need to work on mentally I guess.
Peter Busch: So you get psyched out a little bit when you – how tall are you?
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: Five-six.
Peter Busch: Five-six – and some of the other sprinters in the world are six feet or even taller.
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: Yes. I mean I don't know of anybody that wouldn't be intimated by someone that's five or six inches taller than them. I know that it has nothing really to do with my racing. I can be up there with them. It's just being behind the blocks and knowing that.
Peter Busch: Well, how did you get into swimming?
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: My mom was a swimmer and over the summer she just asked me one day if I wanted to go and try it and I loved it for that part and I wanted to start becoming a competitive swimmer. I wanted to quit because I hated the training and she kept making me do it, she was like "I know you have potential to be good" and I just kept doing it.
Peter Busch: You sound like a sprinter. And did you grow up in the States or in the Bahamas?
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: In the Bahamas – I went to boarding school at Bolles when I was 15, so mostly in the Bahamas.
Peter Busch: And where does your family live now?
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: The Bahamas still.
Peter Busch: And how often do you go back there?
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: Christmas and a week in the summer.
Peter Busch: Very nice. Well this summer you'll have to take the family on vacation to London, right?
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: Of course.
Peter Busch: Well Arianna good chatting with you and good luck the rest of your senior year and this summer as well.
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace: Thank you very much.
Peter Busch: All right that's Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace joining us from Auburn and that is it for today's show. I'm Peter Busch reminding you to keep your head down at the finish.
To purchase this or previous episodes of The Morning Swim Show, to send comments or show suggestions, click here to send an email.
To purchase copies of our Ready Room interviews, click here.