Rosalee Mira Santa Ana has wasted no time leaving her mark on the Azusa Pacific swimming and diving team. The freshman already owns the program record in the the 1,000-yard freestyle and continues to record first-place finishes at each meet.
Santa Ana began swim lessons at 6 and even tried diving and synchronized swimming. It was competitive swim, however, where she found her spark – joining a club team at 10. She went on compete four years on Calvary Chapel Christian School of Downey’s varsity swim team, where she discovered what she describes as her calling for long-distance swimming.
“I knew God wanted me to do this sport, and everything I do in it is for his glory. That’s what keeps me motivated,” Santa Ana said. “Swimming as a sport encouraged me to learn spiritually and has helped me grow and mature in Christ.”
Santa Ana observes a year-round training regime, which includes swimming an average of 12,000 yards per day between morning and afternoon workouts. She emphasizes the importance of maintaining her health with sufficient sleep and proper nutrition, but also notes another significant health component crucial to her training.
“It’s a mental sport,” Santa Ana said. “It’s good to keep yourself focused and not let anything distract you.”
She identifies the goal-setting aspect of swimming as a motivator, and sets new objectives for each new season or period of time. Right now, her goal is to qualify for the NCAA national meet. For next summer, she hopes to qualify for the USA Swimming Nationals. And in coming years, she aspires to make it to the Olympic trials.
“I know it’s hard, but that’s what keeps me going,” she said.
Her mother, Sonia Santa Ana, spoke to her daughter’s strength in goal-setting, noting its reflection not only in swimming but in other personal ventures such as piano.
“She’s always dedicated,” her mother said. “When she sets a goal, she has the motivation to do it and she’s focused on accomplishing it.”
For the swimmer, her parents’ support has been another important factor in her success. They have yet to miss a meet.
“There have been times when I’ve felt discouraged, but they help me back up and keep me focused,” Santa Ana said.
She will have the opportunity to live out her most recent goal next month: competing at the USA Junior Nationals.
“I’m most excited that it’s during our season and I get to represent APU,” Santa Ana said. “This is for God’s glory first and foremost, and then the team. I want enjoy the moment and the opportunity.”
Santa Ana will compete at the USA Junior Nationals Dec. 11-13 in Federal Way, Washington.