Anika “Annie” Apostalon is a sprint freestyle and backstroke specialist originally from Albuquerque, N.M. Apostalon is a multi-time NCAA All-American in the sprint events, and was a 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier in the 100-meter backstroke. Born Feb. 2, 1995 Apostalon is a versatile swimmer with the ability to compete at a high level in any event she put her mind to. Proving her athleticism Apostalon was a spectacular water polo player in high school, and was a two-sport athlete at San Diego State University before transferring to the University of Southern California to exclusively focus on swimming. Outside of the pool Apostalon enjoys the arts including photography, painting, singing, playing the piano, and DIY projects.
Apostalon attended the Albuquerque Academy, where she earned multiple high school All-American honors. She was a four-time state champion in the 100-yard free and a two-time champion in the 100-yard back in addition to breaking New Mexico State Records in the 50 and 100-yard free as well as the 100-yard back. Apostalon was also a standout water polo player, and was named the New Mexico High School Water Polo MVP in 2012 and 2013. In the summer of her junior year in high school she qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 100-meter backstroke where she finished 66th overall.
Immediately out of high school Apostalon chose to attend San Diego State University after being the rare opportunity of both swimming and playing water polo for the Aztecs. In addition to being an athletic phenom and two-sport athlete, Apostalon was also an Honors student. Her freshman year she had a massive breakout, winning the Mountain West Conference championship in the 50 and 100 free and the 100 back. She also was a member of the Aztec squad that swept every relay event –aiding in the 200 free relay, 200 medley relay, 400 free relay and the 400 medley relay. For her accomplishments, Apostalon was named the 2014 Mountain West Conference Swimmer of the Year. At her first NCAA Championships, Apostalon had a warm welcome after she tied for 8th in the prelims of the 50-yard free and the Aztec 200-yard free relay tied for 16th. In a double-day swim off, Apostalon won both swim offs and swam in the championship final of the 50-yard free where she finished 7th and swam in the bonus final of the 400 free relay. Apostalon then tied for 16th again in the 100-yard backstroke, being forced to swim the third swim off of her first NCAA Championships, which she again won. Apostalon ended up finishing 14th in the event and would later on take 15th in the 100-yard free.
As a sophomore Aztec Apostalon again led her team to a Mountain West Conference Championship and qualified for the NCAA Championships. In her sophomore season Apostalon scored individually in two events including a 15th-place finish in the 50-yard free and 12th in the 100-yard free. After her second season as a two-sport athlete at SDSU Apostalon decided to transfer to USC to pursue swimming alone.
In her first year as a Trojan, Anika’s swimming blossomed. On the first day of the 2016 NCAA’s, she swam 2nd on the 800 free relay (1:44.34) to help the trojans place 2nd. The next night, she again helped the torjans score 4th place in the 200 free relay (21.36) and came right back to win the B-final of the 50 free (21.82). She capped off the night by anchoring USC’s 400 medley relay (47.14) to touch at 5th. Just missing her trademark swim off opportunity, she finished 17th in the 100 back on Day 3 at 52.04. She bounced back on the final day though, placing 8th overall in the 100 free final (47.72) and then anchoring USC’s 400 free relay to 1st in a monster 46.77 to cap off the meet with an NCAA title.
To start things off at her senior year NCAA’s, Apostalon was, you guessed it, in a swim off. She tied for 16th with Amy Bilquist in the 50 free, and stayed true to her pattern to win the swim off. That night, she led off USC’s 200 free relay in 22.04, which ended up getting 11th. She then went on to place 11th in the 50 free individually (21.93), and finished the night by anchoring USC’s 400 medley relay (47.65) to 7th. After not making it back in the 100 back, she anchored USC’s 200 medley relay (21.55) to place 5th. She swam to 17th in the 100 prelims on Day 4, just missing a 2nd swim. She once again anchored the 400 free relay (47.17) touching in 4th to cap off her NCAA career.
2016 Olympic Trials
Anika swam the 50 free, 100 free, and 100 back at the 2016 Olympic Trials. She was 39th in the 100 back (1:02.36), 24th in the 100 free (55.83), and after qualifying in 13th for the semi finals, finished 12th overall in the 50 free (25.34).
Switch to Czech Citizenship
After qualifying for the semi-final of the 50 free at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, Apostalon decided to represent the Czech Republic internationally after achieving Czech citizenship in spring of 2018. This was first brought to the attention of the general public when she was announced for the 2018 Euro’s team for the Czech Republic.