Nov. 20, 2003
Wisconsin sophomore Anna Trinidad was named the Big Ten Swimmer of the Week on November 18th, following her performance at a meet against Northwestern. In that dual, Anna recorded two NCAA 'B' standards on her way to winning the 200 IM (2:02.82) and 200 backstroke (2:01.34). Trinidad was also a member of the victorious 200 freestyle relay team that broke the UW Natatorium record. As a freshman at the 2003 Big Ten Championships, Trinidad placed second in the 200 IM (2:00.56), which earned her a spot at the NCAA meet. Here is how Anna answered some of our questions about staying focused, getting up early, and experiencing college athletics in Madison.
Your team seems to be off to a quick start, what do you attribute that to?
I think a lot of it can be attributed to our weight training and the work we've done there. We've worked hard since the beginning of the year, and even over the summer. We're all working really hard in the weight room and it helps a lot. We just hit the ground running and never stopped.
How about for you individually?
I think for me it is definitely the weight training. I've been working really hard in the weight room and I know I've gotten a lot stronger. I think it also helps that I'm not as homesick as I was last year.
The swimming season is pretty long. How do you stay mentally focused throughout a long swim season?
My teammates definitely help me stay focused. When everyone is around you, working hard, and working together for the same goals, it really helps you stay focused. And, for me, when I get in the water, I just go. I just want to go and get better.
Swimmers are known to have early morning practices. What gets you out of bed at 5:30 a.m. everyday?
It goes back to what I said about my teammates. I think it's just knowing that the team is there and you don't want to let them down. You don't really get in trouble with the coaches if you don't go, but there is a sense of guilt with your teammates if you're not there. It does help that I live with three swimmers in an apartment, but the team supporting you and working together makes me want to get up and go to practice.
You seem to swim a lot of different events. Which one is your favorite?
The 200 IM (individual medley).
Any particular reason?
I don't know. I guess I just like getting to swim all four strokes, and the 200 is good, but the 400 IM is too long.
I noticed you qualified for the 2004 Olympic Trials next summer. What kind of goals do you have for that meet?
I swam the 200 breastroke at the last trials, an so far I'll be swimming the 200 IM this summer. I guess I just want to better my old 200 IM time. I haven't swam the 200 IM, long-course, tapered, with Wisconsin yet, so I want to see what I can do. I would like to make it back to the semifinals, to get another swim.
What attracted you to Wisconsin?
Well, I took a lot of recruiting trips, but I just really liked the coaches at Wisconsin. They're young, and all of them have accomplished things in swimming and know what they're talking about. Plus, I really liked the team too and felt like I fit in.
Madison was named the No. 1 college sports town by Sports Illustrated Campus earlier this year, what is your favorite part of the Madison athletic experience?
In general, when I go to the football games, I like how everyone is supportive and behind the team. For swimming, obviously we don't have the same kind of crowd as football, but there are people there. We feel a lot of support from the school, which is nice because we didn't have anything like that in high school.