Senior Athlete Profile: Annie O’Donnell ’21


Annie O’Donnell ’21. Photo Courtesy of Ross LaDue

Isabelle Yee , Sports Editor

Annie O’Donnell ’21 is a Biomedical Engineer from Barnstable, Massachusetts. In addition to being one of four captains on the Swimming and Diving Team, she is also a member of the track team, a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and a staff writer for Concordiensis.

Q: Can you briefly explain how you got started in swimming, diving, and track?

I have been swimming competitive since I was five years old and was the captain of my highschool swim team. I also did gymanstics for about 12 years, which helped with my transition to diving my Junior year at Union. I also started running cross country in fifth grade and was the captain of my high school team for two years. I was never on a track team until my freshman year at Union, but my cross country and swimming experience really helped me catch on to the sport quickly.

Q: How has your athletic experience been at Union and what is the difference between your prior experience and college?

I have loved every second of being an athlete here at Union. My previous experiences with athletics are pretty similar, but my teammate here have definitely become more like family compared to previous teams.

Q: Do you have any pre-meet rituals?

I always listen to music before meets and have a weird routine at the start line or block before races. I also used to wear the same pair of socks for every cross country and track race.

Q: What is your favorite thing about being on a sports team at Union?

I love the competition and the way everyone pushes each other to do their best, even though they are competing against each other in a way. I also love that these sports are not only physically, but also mentally taxing.

Q: What has been the highlight of your athletic career so far?

Either being a part of the 4×800 relay at Regionals for the track team my sophomore year or placing in the top 16 of our Liberty League Championship my first year diving.

Q: What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about the swimming and diving team and the track team?

Most people see swimming and diving and track as individual sports, but they are team sports! It takes more than one person to win even if you are racing on your own.

Q: How do you think your sport has influenced your experience at Union?

I got to know way more people that are involved in so many different aspects of the Union community and I have met some of my best friends on my teams.

Q: What will you miss about being on a team at Union?

I will miss my teammates the most and training and competing with people who have similar goals.

Q: Any advice to younger athletes?

Treat every practice, meet, and game like it is your last. You never know when your season or career will end unexpectedly. If you are having an “off” day, try to focus on one thing you can improve, and don’t forget, you always have your teammates to lean on for support!

Q: What is your favorite thing to eat on campus?

The ravioli at pasta night in Upper or the Panzanella Panini from 807!!

Q: What is your favorite thing about Union?

It’s impossible to pick just one thing!! I love the small class sizes that allow us to get to know our professors and classmates. I also love how our tiny community is so friendly and supportive of each other in everything we do!

Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Schenectady and why?

I love Johnny’s on State Street!! My favorite food is pasta and I think they have the best pasta in Schenectady!!

Q: What is a fun fact about you that most people don’t know?

I love going scuba diving and really love sharks.

Q: Who or what serves as your biggest inspiration?

My teammates inspire me every day with their accomplishments in the classroom, in the pool, and on the track. I love watching them achieve their goals in all aspects of their lives!

Q: What are your goals after graduation or do you have any post-graduation plans?

I haven’t made any concrete plans for after graduation yet. I plan on working for a little bit and then going to grad school at some point in the future.