Swimmers and spectators gathered at the pool in the John W. Hart Building for the competitive swimming championships on Saturday, March 22 at noon.
Teams competed in events ranging from the 50-meter freestyle to the 500-meter race, as well as team relays.
Henry Andrus, a freshman studying business management, competed in six events at the championship meet: 50- and 100-meter freestyle, 200-meter medley relay, 100-meter backstroke and 200- and 400-meter freestyle relay.
Andrus said most swimmers do about four events each, but he added two extra events because some of his teammates were unable to compete.
Andrus said that because he has been swimming competitively at home in California for the last 12 years, he is very familiar with the grind of the season and understands how to achieve success in the sport.
“It is competitive, but it’s more about having fun and building bonds with your teammates,” Andrus said.
Andrus said his coach for this season, Bryce Pexton, has made the experience very enjoyable.
“It’s well-organized and practices are fun,” Andrus said. “But we do work hard. We have all improved a lot this year.”
There were some swimmers who were less experienced than others. However, teammates and sporters cheered for every swimmer, regardless of skill level.
Andrus said the main goal of swimming is not always just winning.
“Of course you want to win, but it’s not all about place,” Andrus said. “It’s more about competing with yourself and dropping time.”
In Andrus’ first event, the 200-meter medley relay, his team did not finish first, but he said they had a successful race because their overall time was faster than they had ever swam before.
“Most of the team has swam competitively before,” Andrus said. “There are two people on our team who haven’t, but they have really improved this season.”
Andrus said it is that sense of personal improvement that drives him to achieve his full potential.
In his second and favorite event, the 50-meter freestyle, he finished the race in 23.19 seconds, less than three seconds from the world record, taking first place.
According to www.usaswimming.org, the world record for the men’s 50-meter freestyle in a 25-meter pool is 20.30 seconds by Roland Schoeman of Russia in 2009.