The summer is not an offseason for any Division I athlete, especially not Mark Andrew, a rising junior on Penn men's swimming.
Andrew competed at the 2017 Phillips 66 National Championships and World Championship Trials in Indianapolis, Indiana from June 27 to July 1, one of the most competitive meets in the country.
At the meet, Andrew swam the 100-yard freestyle on Day 1, the 400-yard IM (Individual Medley) on Day 3 and the 200-yard IM on Day 5. Although Andrew was competing against some top-tier talent, he produced some impressive results.
Most notable was his finish in the 400 IM, where he finished tenth overall out of 52 swimmers in the final with a time of 4:19.98. Andrew also placed 26th in the 100 freestyle heat and 18th in the 200 IM heat.
“I was really happy with my swims. It felt good to be competing with the best in the country,” Andrew noted, reflecting on his rewarding experience at the trials.
While his competition, which included Olympians, increased the pressure, Andrew was able to maintain his composure.
“I was in line with how I did this college season, and my finish in the 400 IM was the best I’ve ever done on a national level,” Andrew said.
For this meet, Andrew represented YOTANC, the club he was a part of before becoming a Quakers. And even though he wasn't technically competing for Penn, Andrew still raced as Penn's lone representative.
“It was great getting to swim for my old coach again but it was really important for me to be up there representing Penn,” he said
Other notable Ivy League swimmers also raced at this meet, including Dean Farris from Harvard, who finished 32nd in the 100 yard Freestyle. Farris previously won three individual events at the Ivy League championship meet. And representing Yale was Destiny Nelson, who placed 51st in the 200 IM with a time of 2:19.56.
As it is the top meet in the country, many of these swimmers are looking to further their careers in the water. Although Andrew did not make the World Championship team this year, he is confident that he accomplished his goals and is looking forward to more swims to reach a higher level in the future.
“It wasn’t my goal right now to make the World Championship team, but I am still happy with how I performed,” Andrew explained.
Looking forward into his upcoming season for the Red and Blue, Andrew has major goals in place that he plans to accomplish by the time collegiate meet season rolls around.
“This year I am looking to make the top eight at NCAAs in the 400 IM. I was 11th in prelims last year so I was just off of this, so I am looking to improve that and do what I can for the team at Ivies,” Andrews added.
The experience gained at these highly competitive meets will prepare Andrew to perform at his highest level for the Quakers in their upcoming season. Not only will the Red and Blue be looking for some big individual efforts from this highly successful swimmer, but Andrew will also be looking to make an overall positive impact on the team to help finally drive the Quakers past Harvard toward their first Ivy League championship in more than 40 years.
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