Littlefield Makes A National Splash

Anya Littlefield of Kapa‘a High earned the attention of Sports Illustrated magazine

Get used to seeing Anya Littlefield’s face. The Kapa’a High School junior has been making waves in the pool since she could hold her head up above water.

The Princeville native’s quick progression to the top of her age group in competitive swimming has helped her pick up some national attention.

In the Sept. 20, 2010, issue of Sports Illustrated‘s “Faces in the Crowd” section, Littlefield broke through and put her face and accomplishments on the map for the rest of the nation to see.

“I was so excited, it’s so much bigger than anything else I’ve gotten at the local level – just so excited,” she says.

“Faces in the Crowd” features the accomplishments of amateur athletes across the country at any age and in any sport.

Littlefield is part of Swim Kaua’i Aquatics, and its president, Dan Britzmann, played a critical role in getting her into Sports Illustrated.

“He got in touch with them and they were impressed enough with what I’ve accomplished thus far,” Littlefield says.

Anya Littlefield (right) with fellow medalist Ryann Linthicum

It took a couple of months of waiting before she finally heard the news and, at first, she didn’t believe it.

“That was huge and to see that in there,” she says. “I thought they were kidding; it was so unreal.”

The section lists her accomplishments as follows: Won the 200-(2:11.73), 400- (4:40.34), 800- (9:29.76) and 1,500-meter freestyle races (18:07.08), along with the 200 (2:27.55) butterfly in the 15- to-16-year-old division at the Hawaii long course championships, earning high-point honors for her age group. She also finished second in the 100 free (1:01.63).

“I think I made it because of the last swim meet this past summer,” she says. “It’s because of all the state titles and records I broke.”

In March, Littlefield is heading up to Seattle for sectionals, where she hopes to turn even more heads.

“I want to swim in college,” she says, “but I’m still unsure as to where and what I want to major in.”

But that may change this spring after she heads to the East Coast to visit colleges, including the University of Massachusetts.

Anya (left) and Emma Rausch

“One of my coaches went there,” she says. “It’s a Division One school and it’ll take a lot of hard work to get there.”

Hard work is no stranger to Littlefield, who already works hard enough in the classroom, boasting a 4.0 grade-point average so far.

And that’s despite being a member of the National Honor Society and a hectic swimming schedule that includes eight practices a week plus gym time.

Littlefield’s main goal right now in the pool is to hit the 16.54-mile mark at junior nationals.

“It’ll take a lot of training,” she says. “I have to drop 50 seconds, but it’s doable. I’ve been dropping 20 seconds per season, so hopefully I’ll get there.”

The SI “Faces in the Crowd” honoree definitely knows what it takes to make a splash both in and out of the pool, as she eyes her next prize.

“I can’t stop there,” she says. “I want to go on to bigger and better things at the next level.”

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