Lehigh sophomore swimmer Ann Foley poses on Friday, April 12, 2019 at Jacobs Pool. Foley had a stellar sophomore season, and was named to a First- Team All-Patriot League selection. (Kevin Tsao/B&W Staff)

Swimmer Ann Foley reflects on record-setting season

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Freestyle swimmer Ann Foley closed out her sophomore campaign as the Most Valuable Swimmer on the women’s swim team after breaking the school record in the 200 free relay (1:31.41) which won an individual Patriot League title at the Patriot League Championships.

But for Foley, it was just another race.

“I was pretty surprised when I looked at my time on the scoreboard,” Foley said. “I was hitting the same times pretty much all year. And when I was swimming in the relay, it just felt like another normal race, so I wasn’t expecting it at all.”

Foley also won the 50-yard freestyle at the Patriot League Championships.

Her performances in the pool have earned her the title as one of the top swimmers in the nation. The Lehigh 200 free relay team has a national ranking of 69 for the 2018-2019 season.

“If I had to attribute being nationally ranked to something, it would be the clear plan and expectations my coach and I set for myself a year prior to Patriots so that I had a clear focus and motivation for practice and races,” Foley said. “It was really fun to see all that finally culminate into a national ranking.”

Junior freestyle and backstroke swimmer Payton Miles said Foley is a happy-go-lucky person who loves hanging around her teammates. Foley shows up with a smile on her face and always works hard to develop as a swimmer. Miles said Foley’s ability to maintain control of her emotions is a huge part of her success in the pool.

“Ann (Foley) understands how to take the good with the bad in order to keep herself focused at the task at hand,” Miles said. “She knows how to have fun with the sport and doesn’t let her emotions get in the way of her races or her practices.”

Foley also holds the school record in the 400 medley relay (3:48.06), 400 free relay (1:31.41) and 800 free relay (7:12.04).

Foley said her success is a result of developing greater self-awareness about what she needs to improve, as well as adjusting her practice structure.

“This year I had more practices tailored to my races: the 200 free, 100 free and 50 free, which involved more anaerobic, quick paced sets that always kept me on my feet,” Foley said. “These sets helped me work on my race strategy, as well as my endurance and power.”

Sophomore backstroke and butterfly swimmer Anna Francisco said Foley’s success can also be accredited to her commitment to maintaining her health. Francisco, who is Foley’s roommate, said Foley consistently gets an adequate amount of sleep and fuels herself with the proper foods to perform at her maximum level.

Francisco said Foley’s greatest strength is her dedication to the team and her trustworthiness.

“As her roommate, I get to witness her outside of the competition scene,” Francisco said. “She is a very trustworthy person and always looks out for her friends, which I think translates to how she is as an athlete because she is a very reliable teammate, and we can always count on her to do what we need her to do in the pool.”

Foley was also named as a Patriot League First-Team selection.

Despite her accolades, Foley said there’s always room for improvement. She said she’s planning on working harder this summer so that she can come back stronger and faster in order to make greater contributions.

Foley’s teammates are supportive of the success she has found in the pool. Miles said Foley is deserving of everything she’s achieved thus far and loves racing with her. Miles said she’s excited to witness Foley’s growth over the next two years.

“As her close friend, my main thought is how proud I am of her achievements,” Francisco said. “Throughout the season, I’ve been able to talk to her about her goals and what she was doing in order to get there. At the end of the season, it made me incredibly happy to watch all of her hard work come together. That being said, I know she has a lot left to offer, and I’m excited to see what she will achieve in our next two seasons together.”

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