Six feet and 180 pounds of solid muscle and determination, Jamie Neuwirth ’06 has been the driving force on the Andover Boys Varsity Swim team, transforming from strictly a water polo player into one of the best sprinters in the league. When Coach Jacques Hugon was asked to confide his opinion of Neuwirth, he immediately responded, “When I think of Jamie, the words that come to mind are: disciplined, determined, teachable and easy-going.” Although Neuwirth has been swimming on a club team in Marin County, CA ever since he was five, he did not always consider himself to be a swimmer, focusing primarily on water polo instead. Not even sure if he wanted to swim at Andover during his freshman year, he started training midseason after a short stint in Nordic skiing and a brief attempt at indoor track. “Swimming always felt easy and natural to me,” Neuwirth recalls. “But I only really began to learn how to swim well after I came to Andover.” Sharing the pool in 2003 with legends such as co-captains, David Hill ’03 and Brain Fiske ’03, both all-American swimmers, Neuwirth learned a lot about the sport, improving quickly. He also recalls how Coach Jacques Hugon taught him about the science of swimming, training his technique instead of just focusing on brute force, bestowing upon him the mentality that there’s more to swimming than just kicking and swinging arms faster than the opponents. “Jamie has shown that he possesses a rare quality among student-athletes. He is eminently teachable, and has the ability to quickly improve his swimming technique through better control of his body. Jamie is able to translate my advice into a better swimming motion with ease,” Coach Hugon praises. Coming into this season extremely excited, Neuwirth was already talking to his teammates about swimming in the fall, knowing how fast the team was going to be. He felt especially confident for the season after training with a USS team over the summer. Roaring out every meet with his traditional pre-game pep talk, out of earshot from the coaches, Neuwirth loves getting his teammates psyched up and ready for their races. “I just want to let everyone know that they can all swim as fast as they want if they just have to have the determination and confidence.” Citing the meet against Exeter as an example, Neuwirth claims, “Swimming might not seem like a team sport, but it really is. I love the team unity and the way we all push each other to go harder during practice so we can perform our best each meet.” In order to beat Exeter for the first time in 33 years, Neuwirth declares, “The whole team had to swim like crazy to make it happen.” With the meet coming down to the last event, Andover needed the gold in the 400 Free Relay in order to win the meet. After Captain Jeff Zhou ’06, Bob Divers ’07, and Scott McColl ’07 gave Neuwirth a slight lead over the Exeter swimmers, “All I did was finish what they started,” he asserts, knowing each swimmer’s performance mattered. “The season has far surpassed my expectations, but it was 100% a team effort,” Neuwirth attests. “Everyone was pumping each other up, and making sure that teammates were swimming as fast as possible.” Very proud of how the team has developed this season, Neuwirth feels Andover finally has a shot at winning New Englands for the first time ever. Placed second in New Englands for the 200 Freestyle with the time of 1:46.98, Neuwirth was especially eager for his race, considering it was his second time swimming the 200 when he achieved his time. Even more astounding, Neuwirth is placed first in the league for the 100 Free, swimming a speedy time of 48.49. Able to execute specific strategies with respect to pace and stroke rhythms during races, Neuwirth can easily control his body to go faster, making him a powerhouse swimmer. “When Jamie first arrived at PA, he viewed himself primarily as a water-polo player, and was not even sure he wanted to swim. Four years later, he is a leader on our team, and one of the best sprinters in the league,” Coach Hugon certifies.