Athlete of the week: Ben Hsiung ʼ18

The Swarthmore men’s swim team wrapped up their dual meet conference season on Saturday with a 121-83 win against Dickinson College. The Garnet finished 6-0 against Centennial Conference opponents, and won their first regular season conference title since 2007. Crucial in the victory was Ben Hsiung ʼ18. The senior leader from Pittsburgh, Pa. won the 200 freestyle in a close finish, out-touching his opponent by 0.14 seconds. The Garnet host their final home meet this Saturday at Ware Pool and then will race into the Centennial Conference Championships the following weekend at Franklin and Marshall College.

Jack Corkery: What is your major, and what made you decide to pursue it?

Ben Hsiung: I’m a chemistry major.  I initially only took chem classes for pre-med requirements, but liked Orgo 1 and loved Orgo 2 because of Professor Paley. I really enjoy how complicated molecules can be produced through a series of logical, and at times elegant, steps.  

JC: What made you decide to attend Swat?

BH: I decided to attend Swarthmore because I knew I could pursue my academic ambitions fully while being a swimmer as well. During my recruiting visit, the close bonds between the swimmers on the team made a deep impression on me, and I was impressed by the support they provided for one another.

JC: What is your favorite event, and why?

BH: My favorite event is the 50 free. I’m not particularly good at it and until this year was never allowed to swim it because there are other events I’m better at, which may be why I like it so much. The 50 is my favorite because it is short and relatively painless. I normally swim 100s and 200s after which I feel nauseous, but the 50 is great because you feel fine after.

JC: How was the winter break training trip?

BH: The training trip was a lot of fun. It was great getting to spend time with teammates just training and not having to worry about school. It was a great opportunity to bond with the team, especially the freshmen I don’t know as well. It was very beneficial in terms of training, since we all put a lot of work in, and the team definitely got stronger and faster from it.

JC: What are your personal and team goals for the remainder of the season?

BH: The team goal is the same it is every year, to beat Gettysburg and win conferences. On a personal level, I hope to go best times in the 100 and 200 back, since I haven’t gone best times in those events since freshman year.


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