#NationalTeamNewbie: Q&A with Annie Lazor

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

By Katlynn Emaus, Swimming World College Intern

Annie Lazor, senior breaststroker at Auburn University, is one of 23 first time National Team members for the 2015-2016 season. As a junior, Lazor placed 10th at NCAAs in the 200 breaststroke (2:08.41) and placed sixth at the SEC Championships in the 100 breaststroke (59.82). At the Phillips66 Nationals meet this past August, Lazor placed 8th in the 200 (2:28.46). Lazor will be eligible to compete both the 100 and 200 breaststroke at Olympic Trials next summer.

Swimming World recently had the opportunity to catch up with Lazor…

SW: What is your swimming background?

I’ve been swimming since I was five years old. Our summer swim club in my hometown in Michigan (Woodside Athletic Club) is directly across the street from our neighborhood and my older brother joined it before me. I continued swimming year-round a few years later with Birmingham Bloomfield Atlantis, while juggling the soccer-swimming combination. I swam for Groves High School and continued at BBA throughout my time in Michigan. Currently, I am starting my senior year at Auburn University.

SW: Why have you kept with swimming for that long?

Swimming at Woodside Athletic Club felt like the essential part of my childhood summers, and I never wanted to give that up. Swimming at my summer club finals is one of my favorite memories, because it combines fun with kids of all ages and fast swimming. Eventually, I realized it was something I could have a future in, which brought out my competitive side to continue to get better.

SW: What events do you swim?

Both the 100 and 200 breaststrokes, 200 IM, and the occasional 400 IM (I still try and get out of that one).

SW: What is your favorite event and why do you like it above all the rest?

200 breaststroke (LCM). I get nervous for races and I feel like it’s a race I can settle into, it forces me to relax until I get into the race. It takes a lot of strategic/technical skill and it’s a grueling race, but it is so rewarding to swim well in something that I’ve worked especially hard to succeed at.

SW: What do you like most about swimming?

At Auburn, the family I have surrounding me is the most supportive and strongest group I’ve ever been a part of. I was never part of a large team until I came to Auburn, so that was a big priority for me when looking at schools. Every great memory I have in swimming involves the people I’ve shared it with; it’s a big part of why I kept swimming for so long.

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SW: What is your fondest swimming memory?

Making my first junior swimming trip was a really cool moment for me. I was at my first NCSA Junior Nationals in 2010 and getting a call from my coach telling me I earned a spot on their team trip to Ireland. I remember dancing in the parking lot with one of my closest friends; it was a moment where I thought I might be able to do something really cool in the sport.

SW: What has swimming taught you in the long run?

Swimming will continue to shape who I am beyond what it defined me as in the pool. It’s taught me hard work and delayed gratification; I know of a lot of people who have struggled when the work they are doing hasn’t quite paid off, myself included. Knowing it’s going to pay off somehow and being patient has given me qualities I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

SW: When was a time that you had to overcome the greatest adversity in the sport and what did you take away from it?

I struggled for a few months after my sophomore season in college. It was my second bad season in a row; I already transferred after my freshman year, and I dreaded practices every day. I felt like I was working so hard every day for nothing, and I was failing everyone’s expectations of me coming into college, including my own. Not much was going right in many aspects of my life. I came to a crossroads in the sport and wondered for a long time if I was done with swimming. I came to a conclusion that I wasn’t ready to walk away from the sport, which gave me a renewed focus and changed a lot of aspects of my life that were holding me back physically, mentally and emotionally. I learned perseverance and perspective- the sun will come up the next day after a great failure or a great success. And if I had given up, I would’ve missed all the blessing of the past year I’ve been given.

SW: What is your favorite quote?

Can’t say I have one, I do have a few Bible verses that keep things in perspective for me. 1 Timothy 4:8-10, Isaiah 40:31, Philippians 4:6-7

SW: Favorite pump up song?

“Can’t Stop” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

SW: What is your favorite food?

Anything my mom makes, no one can cook like her!

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Author: Katlynn Emaus

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Katlynn Emaus is a freshman at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan and is currently studying pre-physical therapy. Before swimming at Oakland, a NCAA Division I college, she trained with the Rapid Area YMCA Swimmers for 10 years. She also competed in pole vault in high school.

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