Co-Captain Chris Xia ’23: “A Source of Stability”

As one of the Swimming and Diving Co-Captains, Chris Xia ’23 cultivates enthusiasm and humility on the team. In the 2021-2022 season, Xia finished second place in Massachusetts with 663.90 points, preceding teammate Raphael Sibuet ’24. Currently, he is placed ninth in the New England Swimming Inclusion Committee as part of the SOLO Aquatics Club, a year-round competitive team. 

Xia began swimming competitively ten years ago. As an avid swimmer, Xia has found the balance between its competitive nature and companionship to help him make meaningful connections.

“I think it’s just the new people. [It’s] really fun for me to [race] against fast people or people around my level and just have a good time with those people. But also in practice, training with people that are rivals, teammates… I think that’s one of the main things that’s kept me going,” said Xia.

According to Andrew Chinn ’24, out of the three Captains, Xia’s focus on growth and ability to lead the team by example is commendable. Chinn noted that Xia inspires his teammates by showing them the possibilities rather than directly telling them about it. 

Chinn said, “I think Chris has always been someone who leads by example. He’s not as vocal as Trey [Wolfe ’23] or Theo [Randall ’23]. But his presence as well as his character, his work ethic and who he represents as an athlete within the swimming space as one of our best swimmers… He kind of leads without having to [raise his voice]… And in a way that’s like motivating; a [leader] through his actions, more so than his words.” 

According to Xia, the three Captains have different leadership styles. They balance roles on the team by showcasing their merit and relying on each other to fill in any gaps. 

Xia said, “The other two Captains are all really great. We each have our own strengths and shortcomings. And I think we complement each other very well… I’m not as outgoing, so usually a lot of the times, we balance out when addressing the team or talking about certain things… And overall it’s been just like a really fun experience. We’ve all known each other since Freshman Year.” 

Co-Captain Wolfe values Xia’s concentrated outlook during practices, something that many look up to. Additionally, the small gestures Xia makes to hold the team accountable is valuable, Wolfe noted.  

“Since there’s 40 kids, it takes a lot of good communication. And he uses his good communication skills to make sure everyone’s on the same page, whether that be simple stuff, [like] what time practices [are] or just general attitude during practice. He makes sure that we’re all informed and doing the right thing,” said Wolfe.

Chinn further spoke on Xia’s humility as a swimmer and leader. Chinn affirmed the influence Xia’s work ethic has on the team, especially on the newer members. As part of the trio, Xia’s steady presence guides the team. 

“Especially in sports that are very physically taxing, it’s important to have leaders within a sports team that help keep morale and motivation high… Chris, among the other captains like Theo [and] Trey, have always been great leaders in terms of showing what is the expectation and the values of the team [while] being a source of stability. Also, being a very big source motivation, especially for the new swimmers, as Theo, Chris as well as Trey, are all very strong swimmers themselves,” said Chinn. 

In an email to The Phillipian, Head Coach David Fox credited Xia for his dedication to fostering a familial community. Fox admires his persistence as a swimmer and a captain.

Fox wrote in an email, “Chris Xia is the quintessential leader: leading by doing. He is humble despite his tremendous success in the pool. No one works harder, and he is fully committed to the team ethos: Family First. Sometimes one has to sacrifice self interest for the good of the whole. If you do not know Chris, you should!”

As the New England Preparatory School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC) Swimming and Diving Championships approach, Xia prepares to end his last Andover season fervently. 

“For me, I think my first goal is just sort of [swim] faster than I have before, trying to have personal best times, but another goal I have is to be there for my teammates and cheer them on and congratulate them when they do their best. I know they’ve all been working really hard and I know from experience it’s nice when your hard work pays off,” said Xia. 

Editor’s Note: Andrew Chinn is a Photo Editor for The Phillipian.