Anna Heller swims for a spot on Olympic team


Scappoose native swimming at Olympic trials in 100-meter event

Anna Heller, a 22-year-old athlete with Scappoose roots, swam for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team this week.

Heller previously qualified in the 100-meter backstroke event. She was scheduled to compete at the Olympic swimming trials in Omaha, Neb., after the Spotlight's deadline Tuesday. The top eight swimmers in her event will move to the finals - one step closer to representing the country in London this summer.

The struggles of Heller, who lived in Scappoose with her family before attending Oregon State University, as she dealt with the unexpected death of her brother David seven years ago, and also her ongoing shoulder issues, were highlighted by Oregonian sports columnist John Canzano on June 23.

Heller was a star swimmer for three years at Central Catholic and one year at Scappoose High School. She was named all-league in four consecutive years. In 2010, the then-sophomore qualified for the NCAA swimming championship with a lifetime best record in the 200-meter backstroke (See March 23, 2010, Spotlight).

- Stover E. Harger III