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A Pepperdine tennis player enjoys a day of distinction
As relief from the endless accounts of academic embarrassments in college athletics, we present one day—Friday, April 19—in the life of Anna Brunstrom, a Pepperdine senior from Karlstad, Sweden.
9:40 a.m.—Brunstrom defeats Becky Bauer of the University of Portland 6-0, 6-0 in the first round of the West Coast Conference women's tennis tournament. She showers and changes clothes.
10:00 a.m.—During Pepperdine's annual senior banquet in Firestone Fieldhouse, Brunstrom, a math and computer-science major with a 3.93 GPA, is honored as the school's outstanding natural-science student.
11:45 a.m.—Back in tennis gear, Brunstrom wins her second-round match over Loretta Fleming from the University of San Francisco 6-0, 6-0.
1:00 p.m.—Brunstrom and teammate Camilla Ohrman beat a pair from Gonzaga 6-0, 6-0 in a first-round doubles match. Brunstrom showers again and dons cap and gown.
2:00 p.m.—Graduation ceremonies begin at Eddy D. Field baseball stadium, and Brunstrom arrives barely in time. "They stuck me in and I just followed along," she says later. Brunstrom's parents, on their first visit to the U.S., are in the crowd when it's announced that their daughter has been selected valedictorian of the graduating class. "I had no idea before then," she says afterward. "Luckily I didn't have to give a speech."
After commencement, Brunstrom attended a reception honoring the graduates and went to dinner with her parents. "Then I went to sleep—I was kind of beat," she says. "I never had a day like that before. I'll never forget it."
Brunstrom decided to go to college in the U.S. because she wanted to combine her athletic talents with her academic ones—Swedish colleges have no athletic programs—and she chose Pepperdine, sight unseen, from brochures. This season she is 24-11 in singles and 20-8 in doubles for the Waves, who are ranked fifth entering this week's NCAA tournament at Stanford.