Once upon a time, the news that a Division III student athlete was returning to the puddle after a year away from collegiate competition would not have been big news.
That was before Emory University’s Andrew Wilson.
Wilson, studying physics and applied mathematics, took the 2015-16 season off to train for the Olympic Trials in an effort to make a berth on the USA Olympic Team. He finished fifth in the men’s 100m breaststroke (59.97) and fourth in the men’s 200m breaststroke (2:09.35), outside the top two spots that make the team.
While he fell short of the mark to qualify for the Olympic Team, Wilson did return to the competition pool for the US Open, setting a new meet record in the 200 breast (2:09.73) and establishing a new personal best in the 100 breast (59.51) en route to claiming two US Open Titles. That 100 made him the third fastest American this season, and – after the Olympics – ranks him eleventh in the world.
Wilson’s explosion onto the national scene in 2015 at the Phillips 66 was a surprise to anyone who wasn’t closely following Division III at the time. At the 2015 Division III National Championship meet, Wilson clocked three new Division III records, including the 9th fastest 100 breaststroke done by an American (51.72) and the 13th best 200 breaststroke (1:52.97), chopping entire seconds off both records in the process.
And he’s not done yet. With a final season to go as an Emory Eagle, Wilson takes the helm as possibly the most accomplished swimmer to come out out of Division III. Joining Wilson in heading up the men’s side of the Eagle squad are two other Olympic Trial qualifiers: Oliver Smith (50 free) and Christian Baker (400 free).
The Emory swimming and diving team opens the 2016-17 season October 7th and 8th against Georgica Tech and Notre Dame.