Swimming in the 100-Yard Butterfly, the 200-Yard Medley, the 100-Yard Backstroke, and the Backstroke in the 200-Yard Medley Relay, Co-Captain Gwyneth Wei ’17 stands out on account of her versatility. A three-year Varsity swimmer, Wei has guided Andover Girls’ Swimming to a 3-3 record this season.
Wei brings a fun and loving atmosphere to the team. Many of her teammates attested to her enthusiasm, work ethic, and caring nature.
Emma Donchi ’18 said, “Gwyneth is unique in that she always tries to make sure that everyone feels super included, and she always is there to give everyone an energy boost.”
“She’s always super happy and smiling and she brings a kind of energy that I haven’t really felt in the team other years, and I really appreciate her for that. She always makes sure that everyone is ready to swim fast and gets everyone pumped up before their races,” Donchi continued.
Wei has also been a great mentor for new swimmers on the team, according to her teammates.
Newcomer Jackie Rossi ’20 said, “Gwyneth has been such a supportive captain. As a new member on the team she’s made me feel so welcomed and make me love every part of practice and competing.”
According to Wei, she joined her first swim team in the third grade and hated it. In sixth grade, however, Wei switched teams to the Stingrays, a club team from Hong Kong, and developed a newfound passion for the sport. The coach on her new team became a large part of both her swim and personal life and ultimately convinced her to continue swimming.
Wei said, “Coach Richard switched over to my team in sixth grade. He was a huge part of my life. He was the one who kept me swimming, and he became a really close family friend as well. He coaches my younger sister now… He believed in me which is a huge part of why I’m here now. He was actually the one who wrote one of my recommendations to Andover.”
Wei continued swimming with the Stingrays until she came to Andover as a new Lower.
Despite her individual achievements in the pool, Wei stresses the importance of seeing swimming as a team sport, a mindset she constantly tries to instill in her fellow swimmers.
Wei said, “Back home, my coach was really focused on how you do everything and made sure you were doing everything the way he wanted it to be done, but here it’s kind of like I’m watching myself more and how I should be improving myself for the team.”
Wei takes her responsibility as a team leader seriously and works closely with Co-Captain Katherine Sweetser ’17 to ensure that they maintain a solid line of communication and a welcoming team dynamic.
Sweetser said, “We always check with each other about everything. Gwyneth has really good communication skills, which makes my job much easier, having someone to bounce ideas off of and to confirm everything.”
Wei added, “I think I am the louder one, but we each have our own separate qualities, which works pretty well because we are not exactly the same person but we still have similarities.”