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Anderson sisters gain experience at Olympic swim trials

By: Matt Long
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Alyssa Anderson did not make the U.S. Olympic swim team, but she did put herself in a better position to make it four years from now. Anderson, who swims for the Folsom-based Sierra Marlins, placed eighth in the 400-meter freestyle and made the semifinals in the 200-meter butterfly at the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials held June 29 through July 6 in Omaha, Neb. The 17-year-old 2008 Granite Bay High graduate said the experience she gained at the trials will only help her in the future. “The trials were definitely a success for me and I learned a lot,” Anderson said. “Making the finals in the 400 free was incredible. “I learned more about being mentally tough, because it was such a long meet. You’re always not going to feel 100 percent, but you still have to race. You’ve just got to go with the flow. “As for the pressure, you’ve just got to tune it out and focus on yourself.” Anderson didn’t let her nerves bother her in the 400 freestyle, held June 30. She posted a time of 4 minutes, 9.49 seconds, which was the fifth-fastest time out of 86 competitors. In the finals she swam a 4:14.28 and placed eighth. Her trials time would have placed her fifth. Anderson’s next best performance came in the 200-meter butterfly, where she swam a 2:11.80 in the trials, which was the 11th-fastest time. Anderson just missed qualifying for the finals when she swam the ninth-fastest time in the semis, a 2:10.50, just seven-tenths of the second out of the eighth and final qualifying spot. Anderson also competed in the 800 freestyle (13th fastest, 8:40.78), 400 individual medley (20th fastest, 4:47.68), 200 freestyle (32nd fastest, 2:01.52) and the 200 individual medley (57th fastest, 2:19.52). Anderson will now take some time off before heading to the University of Arizona on a swimming scholarship. Anderson’s sister, Haley, 16, also competed in the trials. Her best performance came in the 400-meter individual medley where she swam a 4:47.10 and placed 17th out of 82 swimmers. She also placed 20th in the 400-meter freestyle (4:14.89), 25th in the 800-meter freestyle (8:48.94) and 86th in the 200-meter butterfly (2:20.04). “I was really happy with my swims, especially with the 400 individual medley,” Anderson said. “I went into the meet hoping to have a good experience and not really knowing what to expect. I had personal-best times in the 400 IM and the 400 free.” Anderson will be a senior at Granite Bay High this fall.