As the men’s swimming and diving team gets ready for the WIAC championship, senior Andy Hanney gears himself up like it’s any other meet.
He puts on his goggles, his swim trunks and cap and gets ready to swim just as fast as he normally does.
Hanney, a co-captain, passed an offer to swim at UW-Green Bay, to be a Warhawk. Since he made his decision, he has not disappointed.
Hanney holds the school records in the 100 and 200-yard backstroke and the 200-yard individual medley. He also contributed to the records set by the 800-freestyle relay, the 200 and 400-medley relays, the 300-yard backstroke relay and the 850-crescendo relay teams.
On top of that, Hanney has been honored as the WIAC swimmer of the week twice this season, and was given the coach’s award for his outstanding leadership.
Someone with many accomplishments must have quite the ego, or as a captain, be a real task-master, right? Far from it.
“Andy is very reserved,” senior teammate Nate Glover said. “But when we are at practice he has got to be the hardest worker I know.”
Hanney said as a captain, he doesn’t like to tell people what to do.
“I prefer to lead by example,” Hanney said.
Following Hanney’s example is easier said than done. He claims he has never missed a meet and has been to nearly every practice and puts all that he has into competing every time.
There are the obvious challenges any student-athlete faces; balancing one’s schedule as well as the physical and mental exhaustion coming from competition. Last season, fellow swimmer, Tyler Slak was taken by cancer, and left his mark on the entire team.
“It was hard for a lot of people on our team,” Hanney said. “I think it helped make us closer as team in the long run, but it was still tough to deal with.”
Hanney’s resiliency and dedication have helped him reach his goal of making the “B-cut” for nationals for the first time.
“Hanney is very professional,” coach Joel Rollings said. “He shows up early, gets himself ready to go and takes care of business outside of the pool as well.
“[He] has kept his grade point average above 3.3, and is someone I hope the freshmen and sophomores aspire to be like.”
Whatever challenges he was presented with during his time at UW-Whitewater, it is clear Hanney rose to meet them.