Trib HSSN boys swimmer of the week: Mars’ Andrew Pierre
By: Michael Love
Thursday, December 27, 2018 | 11:42 PM
Andrew Pierre is in his final season of high school swimming, and the defending WPIAL Class AA champion in the 200-yard freestyle and the 500 free is hoping to raise his game to the next level.
“Andrew’s looking really good right now. He’s in good shape physically, and his mentality is pretty strong,” Mars coach Todd Slobodnyak said. “He re-evaluated himself (in the offseason). He’s trained harder. He switched his club program over the summer to Racer-X where some of the most elite swimmers in the WPIAL are. He knows what he needs to do to progress even further this year.”
Pierre followed up last season’s WPIAL titles with a fourth-place finish in the 500 and a seventh in the 200 at the PIAA meet at Bucknell University.
“He went into states last year with a good game plan,” Slobodnyak said. “He wanted to be seeded in the finals somewhere between first and sixth and stay out of lanes seven and eight to have an opportunity to compete with the top dogs.”
Pierre moved up four spots from eighth in the 500 at states as a sophomore, but he only dropped a half second of time.
“In swimming, it’s often a lot of hard work for a little bit of time drop,” Slobodnyak said. “It goes to show that no matter what happens, you have to keep pushing those boundaries and limits to drop more time.”
Pierre, the school record holder in the 500, swam a pair of Mars meets in December and qualified for WPIALs in the 500, the 50 free, the 100 free and the 200 individual medley.
He hasn’t swum the 200 free yet in high school competition, but, Slobodnyak said, there should be no qualifying issues when he does so for the first time.
“He swam the 200 at the recent club meet at Pitt, and his time would’ve beaten the 200 (school) record,” Slobodnyak said. “It’s just a matter of time. He really measured himself at Pitt. He had some lifetime bests there. He swam well.”
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-388-5825, email@example.com or via Twitter @MLove_Trib.