Anna Rasmussen has seen more of the world than your average high school graduate. The Blue Valley Southwest senior lived in Denmark until what would be the middle of her seventh-grade year.
“My mom got a job here,” she said of her move to Overland Park.
She attended Pleasant Ridge Middle School without much knowledge of English. She had a year of English in Denmark, but that didn’t prepare her for immersing herself in the American culture.
“The adjustment was difficult,” she said. “I had to learn another language and find new friends.”
She found that swimming helped and began competing for the COOL (City of Olathe swimming club) club team.
In her high school career, Rasmussen has enjoyed swimming success for the Timberwolves.
She was the East Kansas League champion in the 100-yard backstroke as a sophomore and would have won the event at the state meet, but she had to return to Denmark for a family obligation.
The senior was successful in winning the 100-yard backstroke for 5-1A schools at state as a junior. Her time of 56.95 would have also won the 6A title. The time was also an All-America consideration time. All-Americans in swimming are determined by pre-set times. If there aren’t enough swimmers who make the All-America time, the consideration time swimmers are evaluated.
This year, sisters Hannah Angell and Sydney Angell came out for the team for the first time and helped the Timberwolves and Rasmussen to the 5-1A state championship.
Rasmussen led off the 200-yard medley relay that swam to an All-America time, but the team was disqualified by a judgement call against Rasmussen.
“She let it get her down for a minute or two,” coach Arvel McElroy said. “She was able to overcome it. That says a lot about her character.”
Rasmussen swam the third leg of the Timberwolves’ 400 freestyle relay first-place team and placed fourth in the 100 butterfly and third in the 100 back.
“She is a joy to work with,” McElroy said. “She has a great sense of humor.”
After graduating, Rasmussen is now looking ahead toward college.
“I might go back to Denmark and go to college,” she said. “I think I will go into health care because I like to help people.”