Reading High sophomore swimmer Anna Boemer qualified for the United States Olympic swim trials by meeting the standard in the 100-meter butterfly.
Boemer participated in the 18-and-under Madison Aquatic Club’s Spring Virtual Championship Trials in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin in a three-day event from March 19-21. There she posted a time of 1:00.64, making the qualifying cutoff time by just .05. She also competed in the 50 and 100 freestyles, but has yet to qualify.
Boemer will now participate in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials at the CIC Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska, from June 4-7. Currently, she’s qualified to compete in the 100 butterfly, but is hoping to add another event or two before the trials.
“It’s definitely exciting to be a part of the Olympic Trials, and it’s always been one of the goals of mine since I starting competing as a swimmer,’’ said Boemer, who just turned 16. “My teammates and family are excited for me, and it’s something I can’t wait. I’m just going to go out there, do my best and we’ll see what happens. It’s an exciting time in my life right now, and I’m just going to make the most of this opportunity.”
A veteran of the pool for over a decade, Boemer began her swimming aspirations with the Meadow Brook Marlins during summers before joining the Burbank YMCA Bluefins.
As a freshman on the Reading High Swimming team, Boemer earned the 2019 Division 2 state title in the 50 freestyle, with a time of 24.34 (she holds the school recorde) and also placed second in the 100 butterfly (58.00). Boemer also swam the third leg of the state championship 400 freestyle relay team.
“Swimming is such a passion of mine, and it’s definitely a lot of fun for me,’’ said Boemer. “My coaches have always pushed me to that next level, and I wouldn’t be where I would be without them. I’ve always wanted to take my swimming to the next level and I’m just very excited to have a chance to compete for a spot on the United States Olympic Swimming team.”
In the Lady Rockets’ first virtual meet of the season against Lexington on March 12, Boemer broke her own school records in the 100 butterfly with a time of 55.43.
“Anna had a strong freshman year in the fall of 2019 coming in the top three in every event she swam postseason, and winning a state champion title in the 50 free, and 400 free relay,’’ said Reading coach Lianne Bradley. “She is definitely an accomplished swimmer and has a bright future ahead of her.”
Boemer’s training had been hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic last spring, where she missed nearly three months of swimming. Despite the obstacles, Boemer switched club teams and is currently a member of the SOLO Aquatics Club based in Haverhill where she trains under head coach and club president Megan Faren.
“In the off season, she did not let the pandemic slow her down,’’ said Bradley. “Though she did have to miss a few months of swimming from March to May due to the pandemic, she got right back in the water competing for her new club team.”
Following weeks of dryland training, Boemer regained her momentum, where she achieved success while competing in several virtual meets during the fall for her club team.
“It was tough not being able to swim during the pandemic last spring,’’ said Boemer. “I did some dryland training, and then I switched clubs. The club is just amazing and the coaches that I work with and my teammates are just awesome and supportive.”
Following months of off-season training, Boemer as well as 14 of her club teammates flew out to Wisconsin to participate in the Spring Virtual Championship meet.
After finishing close to qualifying times in the preliminary heats, Boemer finally broke through in the final race, winning the 100 butterfly and qualifying for the Olympic Trials.
“Competing for a spot in the Olympics in the middle of a pandemic is definitely strange and eerie,’’ said Boemer. “Everyone had to follow health and safety protocols and everyone had to be spread out. It’s not like anything that I imagined, but the experience to compete at a high level was just an amazing experience.”
Boemer, who was the only swimmer on her club team to qualify for a spot in the Olympic Trials, received praise from her fellow teammates and coaches.
“I didn’t really know that I made the cut for the 100 butterfly, until my coaches told me,’’ said Boemer. “They were so excited for me, as were my teammates and my mom (Sally), who was with me on the trip. It’s definitely different competing in virtual meets in the pandemic, but it’s just awesome that I’m able to follow my dream and compete for a spot on the USA Olympic Swimming team.”
Presently, Boemer will aim to lead the Lady Rockets to their fifth consecutive Middlesex League title while preparing for June’s Olympic Trials. She estimates, she’ll have to reduce her current time by two seconds to be in position for an Olympic roster spot.
She also realizes that earning a cherished spot on the Olympic team won’t be easy by any means. She will have to step up her training over the next two months.
“It’s just going to be awesome competing against the best swimmers in the nation,’’ said Boemer. “There’s going to be Division 1 college swimmers as well as returning Olympians, who are going to be there competing for a spot on the Olympic team. It’s definitely going to be a challenge. I’m not going to give up on my dream and whatever happens, happens.”