Coach’s Corner: Andrew Fleek, Swimming & Diving

What was your fondest memory from your own collegiate athletic career?

I suppose aside from countless experiences with my teammates my fondest memory of my collegiate career was seeing all of our hard work pay off at the end of the season. I was fortunate enough to finish my career with several NCAA “B” cuts and All-Time Top 10 performances in several of my events.

Other than the weather, what was the best part about attending the University of South Dakota (USD)?

For me the best part about attending USD is really hard to pin down to one thing. Being part of a high-level swim program, going to a state’s flagship institution, going to a state with such varied people and landscapes, and that USD has always done an above average job of bringing in students from diverse backgrounds all played a part in my experience. I’m grateful to all of the people that impacted me there—my experiences at USD led me to LU.

What has been your fondest memory so far as a coach here?

This another one that is hard to pin down. It’s probably split between the 2010-2011 MWC meet where both the men’s and women’s teams broke multiple records and finished in the top four in the conference, and the 2013-2014 MWC meet where the women’s team broke six individual records, four relay records, and went one, two, three in the 500 Freestyle (Taylor Winter, Hannah Gabriel, and Paige Witter).

At that meet Winter won the 500 FR and 1650 FR, and Hayley Cardinal won the 100 BR. I also love commencement—to be able to see how the athletes have grown as people over their four years on campus is really rewarding.

Shifting focus, you lost a lot of good Seniors last year, especially on the men’s side in Flack and Mann. How has that affected the team this year? Was there more effort put into recruiting for this year?

Mann and Flack were really some outstanding swimmers for the past four years. Replacing them will not be easy. We put in the same amount of effort in recruiting every year—we’re looking for our 15-16 team to grow in numbers and ability.

What are the team goals for this season?

One of our women’s team goals are to break more records this year while finishing in the Top 3 overall at MWC’s. One of our men’s team goals it to see multiple All–Time Top 10 finishes.

What will be the keys to having a successful season this year for the team as a whole and for each individual swimmer?

As always, the key to success with swimming is hard training—lots and lots of hard training. Swimming is unique to most other sports in that the training has a cumulative effect on the athletes’ physiologies. By staying healthy and being able to complete all of the yardage, volume and intensity, weight training, and calisthenics our swimmers will be able to reach their personal and team goals.

Lastly, are there any rituals or superstitions you had as a swimmer?

I always liked to listen to Zepplin before I swam.