Andrew Karpenko, a sophomore from Minneapolis, MN, won gold medals in the 200 Y Individual Medley, 100 Y Breast, and 200 Y Breast and was part of the 400 Y Medley relay and 400 Y Free relay that both won silver medals at the Centennial Conference Championships for swimming that took place from Feb. 17 to Feb. 20 in Lancaster, PA. As a team, Swarthmore men’s swimming took first place at the Conference Championships. Karpenko also won Most Outstanding Performer and Rookie Outstanding Performer at the conference championships and qualified for the NCAA Championships on March 16-18 in Indianapolis, IN.
Asha Bhuiyan: What has it been like winning the Centennial Conference Championship for the third time in program history?
Andrew Karpenko: Absolutely amazing. As a team, we worked so hard this year to get to this point, and to see all of our hard work pay off was incredibly rewarding. Jumping in the pool with the trophy and coaches was one of the most surreal and exciting experiences I’ve ever had.
AB: What has been your most memorable moment of the season?
AK: After the 200 Breaststroke race at Finals on Saturday, Ben Wesley, Horace Shew, and I got out of the pool and had a big group hug. With that being our final individual race of the season, and for Horace his last race ever, all of the emotion started to come out, and after training together all year there’s no other way I would have wanted the season to end.
AB: What is your favorite thing to do with the team outside of practice?
AB: Why did you choose Swarthmore?
AK: I chose Swat because of the wide variety of opportunities it presented me: outstanding academics, a competitive swim team, and some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met.
AB: What is your intended major and why?
AK: I intend to major in Music, though I am also on the pre-med track and plan to follow that path for my career. There is no official major for pre-med, and I didn’t want to just take S.T.E.M. classes all of college, so a Music major was a fun way to explore different areas, and it’s always been something I’ve loved doing.
AB: What is your favorite class you’ve taken at Swarthmore?
AK: Religion and Food. It’s a freshmen year seminar, and I had a blast. It’s not the type of class that I would normally take, but the material was actually really interesting and class discussion was really engaging.