After breaking school records in the 100-Yard Freestyle, 200-Yard Freestyle Relay, and 400-Yard Freestyle Relay last year, Marcus Lee ’21 was elected as Andover Boys Swimming and Diving Captain for the 2020-2021 season. According to Lee, he originally began swimming as a supplement to his primary sport of baseball.
Lee wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “I started swimming as a side sport, something that I did for fun. I actually played baseball as a kid before finding [out that swimming was the] fit for me. I started to swim competitively around [the age of] ten and I’ve enjoyed it.”
According to Trey Wolfe ’23, Lee leads by example through his tireless work ethic and positive attitude, even before his role of captain.
“Even though he was just an Upper [last year], a lot of the guys looked up to him. Along with the Seniors, he set the pace and there wasn’t any messing around or slacking off. That really was super beneficial for the team because as a freshman, seeing these people you look up to work hard, you’re gonna try to keep up and work hard too, so that really helped me last year and definitely made myself and everyone else faster,” said Wolfe.
Wolfe continued, “He’s not the kind of guy who walks into practice, sees the set, and thinks, ‘This is awful.’ He’s always ready for a challenge, and if there’s a mountain, he’ll climb it. He’s always ready for practice, he works hard, is super optimistic and enthusiastic, and it all works together. On top of all of that, he’s an excellent swimmer.”
Lee attributes much of his enthusiastic mentality to the influence of past teammates.
“Throughout my four years here, I’ve looked up to all my teammates regardless of whether they were captain or not. They’ve all influenced me and my way of thinking some way or another in their hardworking spirits,” wrote Lee.
In addition to being diligent in the pool, Lee’s bright personality makes him an approachable teammate and friend to all, according to Wolfe and Christopher Xia ’23.
“On campus, he’s a really funny and nice guy. I couldn’t say a bad thing about Marcus even if I wanted to. That’s why he was really just the perfect choice for captain, because all the guys on the team are excellent swimmers and people outside of the pool, but Marcus just really stands out,” said Wolfe.
Xia added, “Marcus is a really likeable person. A lot of people are comfortable talking to him about things that are going on in and out of practice, and I think that’s one of the most important traits of a captain. Marcus always does his best to make sure he’s approachable so others can talk to him about swimming or school in general.”
Lee was initially drawn to the community that swimming offered, and he believes that fostering a close relationship between the team is especially important during the pandemic.
“The thing I really like about swimming is the team aspect of the sport. I value the experiences that I have with my teammates in and out of the pool. Training with them and getting to know them as people are the things that keep me engaged in the sport,” wrote Lee.
Lee continued, “My goal is to continue our team’s exceptional chemistry. This year, as a team, we’ve done things to help each other out and stay connected, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement, myself included. Through this, I’d like all the guys to stay focused on their academics and swimming despite our current situation.”
Lee serves as an inspiration to many on the team, as his tenacity and love for the sport is contagious both in and out of the pool.
“I wouldn’t say that he taught me this on purpose, but just by swimming with him and watching him, I’ve learned that every set and every practice is only bad if you make it that way; it’s only tough if you see it that way. If you walk in and know you’re ready to take on whatever set is on that whiteboard, then it’s not gonna be a rough day, you can do it, and that’s how Marcus is. He never fears any set, he just goes in and slams it out, and I think that’s part of why he’s such a great swimmer. His work ethic is incredible,” said Wolfe.
“In terms of swimming, a lot of the things he does in the water in terms of technique inspire me to get better. His ability to interact with a wide range of people is also something I admire, because he’s one of the people on the team who knows a lot of swimmers, both in and out of Andover,” added Xia.