By Marty Gordon
Blacksburg High School swimmers Lexi Nussbaum and Julie Anderson will continue their swimming careers together at the College of William and Mary after they committed to the Tribe.
Both are four-year letter winners for the Bruins. Anderson was third at this past year’s state meet in the 200-free and 100-fly events. She holds the school record in 100 fly and 200 medley-relay with Nussbaum and the 400 free-relay. She was named the most outstanding swimmer for the last two years at BHS.
Nussbaum holds the school record in the 200 medley-relay with Anderson and placed in the consolation finals in the breaststroke at the state meet last year.
Nussbaum, who swims with H2okie Aquatics, most recently earned four best times at the HOKI Winter Meet. She raced in three events at Virginia Seniors back in March and recorded a best time in the 100m breaststroke at Virginia LCM Seniors in the summer of 2019.
Representing Blacksburg High, Nussbaum raced at the Virginia 4A State Championships the last three years. She placed 15th in the 100-breaststroke as a junior after taking 16th in that event her freshman season.
The Bruin swimmers both chose W&M because of its outstanding swim team and its academic opportunities.
Nussbaum hopes to break the BHS school record in the 100 breaststroke and make a National Club Swimming Association cut during 2021’s winter competition. “In college, my goal will be to train hard to improve my breaststroke, intermediate medley and all my strokes,” she said.
Anderson hopes to improve her times and be an encouraging teammate through her last semester of high school. “In college, I am hoping to make the conference meet, to continue to support my teammates and to continue to learn and grow as a swimmer and a person” she said.
Like other high school athletes, the pair had to adjust during the COVID-19 pandemic as pools were closed during the spring and part of the summer.
Nussbaum took up biking and running to help with her training.
Anderson said that, having a senior year in the midst of a pandemic has changed her goals and perspective a bit. “I am now just hoping that my team will be able to have high school meets this year,” she said. “I have learned to focus on the most important aspects of this sport, which for me is the process of working hard, being supportive and improving as an athlete and a person.”
The two swimmers sang the Christiansburg Aquatics Center’s praises as a wonderful facility that is working to make sure COVID restrictions are being taken seriously. “Overall, while COVID-19 has definitely affected our season, we have a wonderful facility that has been able to support us in doing practice and meets safely,” Anderson said.
The William and Mary women finished second at this past year’s Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championships, which were held at the Christiansburg Aquatics Center.
After originally announcing it would cut the swimming and diving program after the 2020-21 season, the university decided to reinstate the women’s team to preserve Title IX balance.
At W&M, Anderson hopes to major in neuroscience or psychology with plans to either perform research or become a psychologist. Nussbaum plans to major in biology with a double major or minor in kinesiology and health sciences.