Diver Alana Anzalone is expected to continue her reign on the diving boards after an impressive freshman campaign in which she swept the top places in the one- and three- meter events seven times last season.
Oct. 30, 2001
EASTON, Pa. (www.lafayette.edu) - Sophomore Alana Anzalone arrived on campus last year with great aspirations for her life at Lafayette. She was ready to compete in both field hockey and diving as well as preparing for the future. Months later the story changed slightly, but with extraordinary results. Anzalone curbed her field hockey career to concentrate on diving and has never looked back.
An all-state forward in field hockey, she was recruited by Duke, Holy Cross, Lehigh, Temple, Richmond and Massachusetts. Boston University wanted the diver who had had captured the District title twice in high school. Anzalone decided on Lafayette, which offered her the opportunity to do both.
"I could have done both but it meant sacrificing more from diving," Anzalone said. "Field hockey would still be in season when meets started. Eventually, I chose to concentrate on diving and it has worked out really well."
The transition to life at Lafayette was comfortable for Anzalone. Not only was it close to her home in Shavertown, Pa., but her brothers Billy ('98) and Jamie ('03) had gone through the experience and were supportive.
"I had visited here a few years ago when Billy was at Lafayette so I was pretty familiar with the campus," Anzalone said. "Jamie and I were close in high school and we're close here so it the transition was never really a factor."
Upon her arrival, head diving coach Bill Lawson knew he had something special.
"Alana had a lot of talent when she arrived," Head diving coach Bill Lawson said. "We capitalized on that talent and she has been improving on it ever since."
Anzalone had quite a successful freshman year on the boards for the Leopards, sweeping the one- and three-meter diving competitions in seven dual meets including two Patriot League opponents in Lehigh and Bucknell.
"I don't think I dove my best last year," Anzalone added. "I was still getting used to competing in this facility and in the league. I really feel confident that this year is going to be much stronger for me."
"She performed very well in the dual meets," Lawson said. "The Patriot League meet was a whole new atmosphere with a much larger group of competitors and a different format. She responded to the pressure very well and the results reflect that."
Anzalone is more prepared for the year to come and is especially looking forward to the Patriot League Championships at the end of the season. She admits feeling nervous at last year's competition despite a promising fifth place finish in the one- and three-meter events. For most freshmen it would have been a solid finish, but Anzalone has bigger things in mind.
"I want to have another undefeated season and place among the top three at the Patriot League meet this year," said Anzalone. "I am much more comfortable now and it's something I know I can accomplish."
She plans to study abroad next year and is considering a major in Government & Law.