CMC Celeb: Annie Perizzolo

To those of you that follow CMS sports, this week's Celeb's recent accomplishments are no secret. Annie Perizzolo, a native of Aurora, CO, is a junior majoring in Management Engineering. She spends some of her time being a physics tutor, a mentor for Uncommon Good, and a Career Consultant for Career Services. Although she played soccer, basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, and ran track while growing up, Annie has now focused her athleticism towards swimming. Specifically, Annie swims the 100 and 200 breast, as well as the 200 and 400 IM. And you could say she has been pretty successful. This past year she took home two individual SCIAC records and titles in the 100 and 200 breast, as well as three SCIAC records and titles in the 200 Medley Relay, 400 Medley Relay and the 400 Free Relay (with the help of Elsa Cheng '13, Katie Bilotti '12, Emma Jones '12, and Jenni Rinker '11). To put this in to perspective, Annie broke not only a CMS record, but a SCIAC record - in two events! In March, she returned from the NCAA Division III Championships as the first Athena to ever bring home two national swimming titles. She's kind of a big deal.

“The Six”

1. What are the top 5 most played songs on your iTunes?

1. Amazing, Josh Kelley 2. Your Love Is My Drug, Ke$ha 3. Secret Smile, Rascal Flatts 4. Make It Up to You, Steve Means 5. The Man Who Can't Be Moved, The Script

2. What is your quirkiest quality?

Steamed carrots are my favorite food, hands down, no questions asked. I just love them. And balloons have an unbelievably strong power to make me happy the minute I see them no matter what mood I am in. That was two. Sorry.

3. What do you consider your greatest achievement (outside of your athletic career)?

Surviving a summer in Thailand full of jungle treks, crazy food, and very limited Thai language skills.

4. What is something that you learned from your family?

Every situation can be turned into a positive, you just have to learn how to adjust your mind set.

5. If you could be a character from any book, movie, or TV show, who would you be?

Ron Weasley from Harry Potter

6. What is your favorite unknown tidbit about CMC?

Oh gosh. There are so many. Probably that Alex Mitchell and Kacey Klein make bomb corn dogs. And that Career Services always has yummy holiday candy on the front desk. Sorry, that's two again. Did I ever say making decisions was a strong point of mine?

How long have you been swimming?
I started swimming on a team when I was seven, and I started taking it seriously when I was 15, or so. It took me a while to decide swimming was going to be the sport I would focus on - and I still can't stereotype myself as a "swimmer."
Did you have a favorite swimmer growing up? If so, why were they your favorite?
I have never really followed the swimming world as closely as others, but just based off of looks I was always a fan of Aaron Piersol.
What do you consider your greatest achievement in swimming, other than your two recent national titles? Honestly, I have always appreciated the team aspect of swimming more than my individual races. I would say that the relays I have been on the last few years have been some of my greatest achievements. The relay swims that stand out are the 400 medley relay last year at SCIACs and the 400 free relay at SCIACs this year.
What has been your greatest setback during your swimming career and how did you overcome it? It has been hard to shift from a three-sport athlete to just being a swimmer. It's such a different mentality to train for just one sport for such a long period of time. It's difficult to keep my focus from September until March on just one swim meet. Luckily for me, the CMS team made it an easier transition, and everyone is super supportive whenever anyone begins to doubt how their season is going and what goals they should be reaching for.
What did you do to train this season for the SCIAC Championships? As I mentioned, swim season is super long. But it's long because you need to put in work the whole season in order to perform well in the end. So training for SCIACs starts the day you get back on campus [from summer break] and in Axelrood Pool. The whole team does a mix of water workouts and dry land workouts. We make sure that we keep our goals in mind so that we can continue working hard throughout the season. But more importantly, I make sure that I have fun with every practice - that I have something to laugh and joke about at the end of every practice. It makes getting in the water every day (sometimes at 6:00 a.m.) so much easier.
What was your greatest motivator? I'd say my greatest motivator was being able to shave my legs at the end of the season? Ha. Just kidding. (Well, sort of.) I love the feeling of being tired after practice, and I love being around people that are all working hard toward a common goal. I don't really need a motivator day-in and day-out when it comes to swimming.
How does it feel to be a national champion? It hasn't really sunk in yet. I have dropped so much time these last three years at CMC. When I hear about people that get the same time as me I still think, "Holy cow, one day I wish I could swim like that!" - slowly to realize that I have. It's just so surreal. I have definitely done more than I ever thought possible for myself.
What is the best advice you have been given (in regards to your swimming career)? I think the best advice I have ever received is to just have fun with it - and that applies to everything. If you aren't having fun, then you shouldn't be doing it! And the more you enjoy an experience, the more likely it is that you will be successful.
What do you love most about swimming?
I think people always question swimmers about how the sport of swimming can be fun. Swimming is something different for everyone, but for me, the pool is one place where I can think, where I can feel like I am accomplishing something with every practice we do, where I can hang out with friends, where I learn an amazing amount about discipline, motivation, and goal setting, and where I am almost guaranteed to have fun every time. So even though it seems like we just stare at a black line all day while swimming back and forth, the three hours of practice we do every day does so much for me. And although I have been very successful with my end results each season, it's not always about the end results. Isn't there some kind of proverb saying the journey is much more important than the destination? It's so true.
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CMC Celeb is a feature of the Forum that profiles interesting CMC students, finding out everything from what makes them tick to what’s in their iTunes library.  Ever wanted to know more about someone on campus?  Suggest a name anonymously here…we might just make them a CMC Celeb.