Calling on the years of hard training in Andover’s pool, Andrew Wilson ’12 of Emory University and Alexander Nanda ’11 of Williams College combined for an impressive ten NCAA Division III Championship wins in Shenandoah, TX., last week.
Wilson won the National Championship in the 200-Meter Individual Medley with a time of 1:46.23, becoming the first Emory swimmer to ever win the event. Wilson defeated three-time National Champion Trevor Mann.
The next day, Wilson shattered his own Division III record in the 200-Meter Breaststroke, a 1:57.18 from December 2014, with a time of 1:54.68. By swimming the 100-Meter Breaststroke in an astounding 51.72 seconds, Wilson became the 13th-fastest participant in the history of the event. Wilson’s time would have placed 3rd at the 2014 NCAA Division I Championships, and it was his second individual title of the meet.
Wilson’s time in the 100-Meter Breaststroke makes him the 10th fastest American ever and his time in the 200-Meter Breaststroke makes him the 20th fastest American ever.
David Fox, Wilson’s coach at Andover, wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “[Wilson’s] performances were simply astounding, particularly his Division I-quality swims in the breaststrokes. They are testament to his athleticism, focus and work ethic. His time in the 100-Meter would have stood as the American Record as recently as December 2010. I’m not sure any swimmer has ever dominated NCAAs quite like this, yet [Wilson] is handling it all with genuine humility and grace.”
Despite the immense honor of breaking a record as prestigious as the one Wilson broke, he doesn’t get caught up in the history of it.
Wilson wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “The most important thing is wanting to get better. Swimming is a very time consuming sport and a very challenging sport mentally. If you don’t want to get better all the time, you won’t improve as much as you want. Records are fun, but overall that’s not important to me. They’ll be broken eventually, and I was more excited to score points for the team.”
Nanda’s first win came in the 400-Meter Individual Medley. He posted an impressive 44.19 split in the final leg of the Freestyle to pass an Emory swimmer and win the race for Williams.
Fox said, “Their primary strengths are that they are direct, diligent, team-oriented guys. They are both highly coachable – they do what is asked and buy completely into the programs in which they find themselves – and it’s thrilling to see them achieve so much.”
Nanda said, “I didn’t swim competitively until coming to Andover, and the fact that I was able to swim in college is really a huge credit to Coaches [Jacques] Hugon and Fox. I learned the proper stroke and race technique at Andover that prepared me to compete at the collegiate level. More importantly, Coaches Hugon and Fox instilled a team-first ethos that’s helped me succeed in the pool. It was thrilling to set the national record, but the best part about that race was watching all of my teammates step up and deliver awesome swims and I’m just grateful I was able to be a part of it.”
Wilson said, “The most important thing about Andover swimming was the coaches.[Hugon] and Fox taught us how to be competitors in addition to just swimming technique. They made sure to emphasize that every day in practice was important for the end of the season – something that I still think about today.”
Nanda and Wilson were teammates on Andover’s JV team in the 2009 season, but now they are making waves in the colleigate pools