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Champions share diverse talents

Plant sprinter Christine Anseeuw led her team to a lofty finish at state.

© St. Petersburg Times
published December 20, 2001

TAMPA -- For the past three years, Plant junior Christine Anseeuw has dominated sprints. This year was no exception.

In her freshman and sophomore seasons, she helped Plant's 200 freestyle relay teams win state championships.

Although the Panthers didn't win a relay title this season, Anseeuw won the individual 200-yard freestyle state championship, placed second in the 100 freestyle, helped the 200 freestyle place fourth, the 400 freestyle relay place fifth and her team finish third.

Swimming is as much a lifestyle as a sport for the Panther sprinter who trains year-round.

When not swimming for Plant, Anseeuw swims for the Barracudas Swim Club at Berkeley Prep.

"I could hardly believe my ears, when I heard the announcement of Plant placing third in the state," Anseeuw said. "We only had five girls competing for Plant and to place so high, everyone had to do their very best. Obviously, they all did well. I didn't think we would do so well, so maybe we will do better next year."

Other Plant swimmers at state included Sarah Kirkwood, Emily McAdams, Alana Brasier and Crystal Rasmussen.

Since her freshman season, Plant coach Gil Gonzalez has beamed with pride any time he has spoken of his star swimmer.

"Christine is a living example of how to do it right," Gonzalez said. "She leads by her work ethic and her example in the pool and in the classroom with a straight A average."

Anseeuw's only setback was not meeting her goal of making the cuts at the Olympic trials. The next time she has to officially make the cut will be in March. "I am taking a Christmas break, then I will be back doing 10,000 to 12,000 yards a day, six days a week to train harder. Then I hope to return in the fall for my best high school season at Plant."

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