Andrew Rodriguez does the breaststroke during one of his competitions.
Andrew Rodriguez does the breaststroke during one of his competitions.

   Andrew Rodriguez had just finished swimming the prelims of the 400-meter individual medley (IM) Thursday, March 12 at the NCAA Division II Swimming & Diving Championships in Geneva, Ohio.

   Swimming in front of empty bleachers, the 2018 Ripon High School graduate immediately identified what made the race not go as well as he would have liked and was ready to come back strong for his final two events, which were set for the following two days.

   It wasn’t much later that he found out the rest of the meet was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

   Rodriguez, who swam for the Ripon Community Swim Club for many years and was named Wisconsin “Swimmer of the Year” twice, caught up with the Commonwealth for a little Q&A about his first two seasons at Drury University in Springfield, Mo.

   Q. What was the biggest difference from club swimming to competing at the Division II level at Drury University?

   A. College swimming is said to be kind of a mixture of club and high school swim, where you’ve got the competitive edge of club swimming and the team aspect of high school swimming. So, going to college, I didn’t really have that team aspect. When I went to college it was really nice to have that really big, unifying team aspect, especially because my class was the biggest class that we had gotten for quite a few years.

For the rest of the Q&A, see the full story in the March 26, 2020 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.