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Champion swimmer sets goal, breaks records

Danielle - Senior Chapel Hill, NC

The first thing you see when you walk into the Andover pool is the giant record board that hangs at one end of the deck. It’s intimidating but also inspiring. “I remember coming to visit and I saw Hee-Jin Chang’s [’05] name all over the board and I was like ‘oh wow,’ she was amazing’” recalls Danielle. “Then I thought, I want be like that. I want to be on the record board.” And now as a senior, Danielle’s name is on the board—over ten times, holding various individual and relay records.

Danielle’s hard work and long hours in the pool paid off. “Coming into this year I was only aiming for the school records. But getting a pool, Andover/Exeter and New England record [in the 200 freestyle] was great, too,” says Danielle modestly. She has reason to brag though as the owner of records in 200 freestyle, 200 Individual Medley, 500 Freestyle, 100 Yard Breaststroke, 200 Freestyle Relay and 400 Freestyle Relay. Danielle cites extra pool time with her club team and Andover coach Paul Murphy in her progression. “Coach Murphy is so enthusiastic about everything,” she says. “He tries to make everything fun, regardless of how hard he pushes us.”

Danielle will go on to swim for D1 Yale and hopes to make it to the Olympic trials, but realizes the road ahead will only get harder. “We’ll see,” is all she’ll offer on the idea of following Chang’s footsteps of making it to the Olympics.

For now, Danielle is a typical senior, enjoying the final months of Andover and taking stock in a legendary swimming career. “I went to a water polo game recently and saw that they’d updated the board. It was an awesome feeling.”