Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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National Treasure (Women’s Swimming)

By Bette MarstonThe Daily Northwestern

This summer, Northwestern senior Andrea Hupman spent about a month overseas. For most, this would seem to be a relaxing vacation, filled with travel and cultural immersion.

But not for Hupman.

Hupman represented Team USA in the World University Games in Bangkok, Thailand, on Aug. 8-14. And she did not just go to just swim a few races – Hupman brought home her share of hardware as well, winning three medals over the course of the meet.

“It was so exciting,” Hupman said. “It was just a big adrenaline rush.”

NU coach Jimmy Tierney accompanied Hupman to Bangkok, serving as one of the assistant coaches of Team USA. Tierney described the swimmers at the meet as “athletes who are just below the level, about to break through and truly make themselves known within the USA swimming world.” He worked with the sprint freestylers, which allowed him to put a lot of focus into Hupman during this meet.

“It is just a thrill to be able to go and experience this with her,” Tierney said.

Hupman’s month-long venture started with a week-long training camp in Singapore, which allowed her, along with the other members of the team, to get adjusted to living in a new culture: a different time zone, different foods and even different weather.

“Andrea adjusted beautifully to the international changes,” Tierney said.

After the training camp, the team moved to Bangkok, which was the site of the meet.

There, Hupman swam in the 100 freestyle, winning the silver medal.

She finished just behind Germany’s Britta Steffen, who is the current world-record holder in the event. Hupman anchored the gold medal-winning 4×100 freestyle relay, which brought home Team USA’s first swimming gold medal of the meet.

Hupman also swam in the preliminary heat of the 4×200 freestyle relay.

Hupman vividly recalled swimming the anchor leg in the finals of the 4×100 relay.

“We were neck-and-neck with China and Germany, and after watching my teammates swim their hearts out, I did not want to let my team down,” she said. “When you’re swimming, you can almost see your teammates behind the blocks cheering for you, and it motivates you that much more. My heart was pounding.”

“It is just the greatest thrill as a coach to see your swimmer competing and being so successful at this level,” Tierney said.

Tierney added that he hopes Hupman’s successes will motivate the swimmers around her to reach this level.

“Successes build upon each other,” he said.

Because of Hupman’s success at the meet, she was named to USA Swimming’s national team, alongside Olympians such as Natalie Coughlin and Dara Torres. Her time in the 100 freestyle was one of the six fastest times swam during the championship season this summer.

“It is a great honor to be named to the national team,” Hupman said. “I have so many people coming up and congratulating me, and it is great to know that people are following my progress and it shows that I have a good support system.”

She also said her spot on the national team is bringing her long-term goals into more of a reality.

So what exactly is in store for Hupman in the future, now that she is a member of the national team?

“Right now, we have the collegiate season immediately in front of us, and then the (Olympic) Trials are in July,” Tierney said, concerning Hupman’s upcoming events. “We’re just thinking about how to find the next step, including making technical improvements to improve her stroke.

“She is definitely in the mix for qualifying for the Olympics. She is a very dedicated and committed athlete – one of the best we’ve had – and we’re just going to take it as it comes, and be proud of her no matter what.”

Reach Bette Marston at [email protected].

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National Treasure (Women’s Swimming)