When all is said and done, he just wants to leave his Mark.
That is the mindset of freshman swimmer Mark Andrew, who has the potential to have an illustrious career here at Penn.
The Middletown, Ohio, native has set lofty goals for himself during his time for the Red and Blue, both for this season and those to come.
“This year, I’m shooting for a couple Ivy titles in both the 200 and 400 IM, looking to make it to NCAA’s,” Andrew said. “By senior year, I’m shooting for All-American, so top six in one of my events.”
Such high goals might be hard to attain for the average swimmer, but Mark Andrew is no average swimmer.
Andrew’s list of accolades is already quite impressive. At the Speedo Junior National Championships this past August, he placed first in the 400-meter individual medley with a time of 4:22.10 and second in the 200 IM with a 2:02.60 performance. He also captured a gold medal in the 200-yard IM at the Ohio Championships, and in September he was named to the U.S. Swimming Junior National Team.
Here at Penn, Andrew has already etched his name into the record books, breaking the Sheerr Pool 200-yard IM record that had stood for over 20 years with a time of 1:50.13 in the meet against Columbia — his first college meet for the Red and Blue. He also placed first in the 200 IM in the tri-meet against Cornell and Princeton.
Andrew comes from a family with a history of success in the pool, and that has certainly influenced him along the way. His father, Will Andrew, was a three-time All-American swimmer at Williams College, and his mother swam there as well.
“I’ve been swimming for about as long as I can remember,” Andrew said. “My dad introduced me to the sport when I was really young.”
His success so far is due to more than just talent, something to which coach Mike Schnur can attest.
“He works hard every day, he’s talented and he’s confident,” Schnur said.
Andrew agrees with this, but feels that there is something else that he learned from swimming in high school that helps him succeed.
“What I’ve retained from high school is just the ability to race, which is such a key aspect in swimming,” he said.
Andrew also believes he brings more to the table than just his ability in the pool.
“What I like to bring to the team is a positive energy,” he said. “You want to be the guy that’s up cheering, but you also want to be the guy that people are up cheering for.”
The main event for Andrew is the individual medley, which combines the four strokes: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle. Because of this, he does not have a particular specialty, which opens up myriad possibilities for his role on the Penn team.
“When you have someone like Mark, his greatest strength is his versatility,” Schnur said. “The most difficult part about him is figuring where to put him, because he can do so many things for us.”
Andrew is not alone in envisioning himself having a very successful career with the Red and Blue.
“I think Mark has unlimited potential,” Schnur said. “He could be an Ivy champion, he could be an NCAA qualifier, he could be an All-American, he might be NCAA champion some day.”
Andrew heads a freshman class that was ranked seventh in the nation last year by CollegeSwimming.com, so others will find success as well. However, he has the opportunity to do something special here at Penn: to compete, win and leave his mark on the record books of not just Penn, but the NCAA.
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