Anna Shaw - One Last Chance

Posted by North Bay Aquatics on Jun 09 2024 at 09:12PM PDT

2 weeks ago, we took our national group down to Morgan Hill to the George Haines International meet. There was at least 2 swimmers in each event trying to make last minute Olympic Trials cuts. One of those swimmers was Anna Shaw, a rising senior on the Stanford women’s varsity team. Anna was swimming the 50 Free and 100 Free at the meet and in both events she was seeded within tenths of the Trials qualifying times.

The second night of the meet she swam the 50 free, went around her best time, and finished .28 off the qualifying time. The next day was in the 100 free. At finals she went out like a mad woman – 26.75 for a first 50. Seemed like a trials cut was imminent, until the last 15 meters came and she paid a price for that opening 50. She got to the wall in 55.86, just .07 off a trials cut.

This weekend Anna was in Roseville at the Summer Sanders meet. She had no teammates at the meet and no coaches. Entries for trials are due Monday at 11:59pm, so this is truly the last chance to qualify.

Again, her meet started with some 50 freestyles and to no avail. Sunday was the 100 free though and she went out fast again, 26.97, but just like 2 weeks ago, those last 15 meters came around and Anna missed the time by a few tenths again

Anna had one more shot. 1 hour after that final 100 free there was a time trial offered to swimmers VERY close to trials cuts. 3 swimmers took part. 2 were NBA alumni in Gavin Green and Jackson Mason. Anna was the third in a heat with Gavin for a 50 free

Empty pool deck, 2 swimmers in the pool, all her coaches and teammates 3 hours away in Palo Alto, and Anna gave it one more go. She touched the wall and the clock had a delay, until the time on the board popped up. 25.67. Anna qualified for Olympic Trials by 2 one hundredths. As she walked down the pool deck back to her stuff, people she never met before congratulated her, but she didn’t hear them. She was just repeating “oh my god, oh my god, oh my god…” over and over again.

I’m very appreciative I got to see that swim, but even more appreciative we had about a dozen young athletes there watching Anna go for one more chance. Next time you get annoyed with Don saying “just one more!” you can think of Anna.

The story is awesome, but hardly unfamiliar. This happens every 4 years. 4 years from now, someone reading this is going to be doing a last minute time trial to have an opportunity to race at the 2028 Olympic Trials. That journey doesn’t start when they release the updated qualifying times for 2028, that starts this week. It starts in how you show up to practices. It shows up in how you sleep. It shows up in what you do when things get tough. It shows up when you fail at a goal and have to get back up, dust yourself off, and try again the next day. If you want this opportunity, show up to practice this week with the same kind of determination of Anna Shaw


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