HS Q&A: S.A. Lutheran’s Claire Rankin swimming toward gold
San Antonio Lutheran senior swimmer Claire Rankin admits to not being a talkative person. She more inclined to wait for others to approach her for a chat, and not the other way around.
When it comes to being in a pool, though, Rankin’s ability does the talking for her — and it’s been a resounding exchange.
Rankin has captured three gold medals, six silvers and three bronzes in three years competing at the TAPPS Division III state swimming championships. She guided the Mustangs to a team championship last year, a runner-up finish in 2017 and a third-place showing in 2016.
Heading into her final state meet Wednesday in Mansfield, where she is scheduled to compete in the 100-yard freestyle, 100 butterfly and 200 medley and freestyle relays, Rankin reflects on her career:
E-N: Is the approach this year to the state meet different compared to when you were a freshman?
“The three years have passed by really fast. Looking back, I used to get super nervous. It’s changed a lot how I looked at the TAPPS meet. It’s more exciting. I look forward to it a lot. My freshman year, it was kind of scary. I was kind of a shy freshman and (competing at) state is always intimidating across all sports, just because I wanted to do well for my teammates.”
E-N: How has swimming changed your personality to where you now might go up to people and talk to them where before you might sit back and wait for them to strike up a conversation?
“I think swimming definitely helped me to open up and made me more confident, even just talking on the phone. This year, I had to talk to a lot of college coaches over the phone. It helps me grow as a person.”
E-N: You’ve had a lot of success at the TAPPS state meet, including helping Lutheran to a team title in 2018. When you’ve had that much success, what’s the motivation?
“This year is a little different because we lost a really great senior (Allison Penton) last year, but we have some amazing swimmers of all ages and grades, so I think we’re coming into the same way, just really hoping to do well and do our best.”
E-N: You had an appendicitis last year. How did you overcome it?
“It was a setback, but I had a of support that helped me get back training and to where I really can race again. I had to have my appendix out. It had started to ruptured, but luckily we caught it in time.”
E-N: When you found out your appendix had to be removed, were you worried about how it might impact your season ?
“It definitely came in my mind a little bit, because had it fully ruptured, I would’ve been out six weeks or so. Since it was a little procedure, I just had some discomfort for a couple of weeks and (then) I was back to training.”
E-N: You signed with Wyoming. Are you concerned about attending a school so far from San Antonio ?
“It’s going to be a big change for me. The way I kind of chose that schools was because I felt more homesick here at one of the schools than I did a thousand miles away. It was just the people and the environment were so great and I know that they’re really help me improve my swimming and just improve me as a person as well.”