Quaker Valley athlete of the week: Andres Hubsch
School: Quaker Valley
Sport: Swimming and Diving
Claim to fame: Andres Hubsch’s specialty isn’t diving, but that didn’t stop him from placing second in a recent meet.
He also won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.73 seconds and had an “outstanding” 50 butterfly in the medley relay to catch and pass Mars’ team in the third turn. His team won the race.
While he has been come close to winning individual WPIAL and PIAA titles, the senior said his focus this season is mentoring underclassmen.
Why did you become a swimmer?
I’ve swam since I was very young, so it’s always been a fun sport for me. It is very self-driven. You can almost always improve if you put in the effort and if you put in the focus. I didn’t always have that same relationship with other sports where I put in a lot of effort, but didn’t always see the same return. The racing aspect of swimming is also exhilarating, and the team aspect is unique to any other sport.
This was the first time you’ve competed in diving. What convinced you to do it?
I’m a senior, so with my competitive swimming days counting down and having watched divers compete at every meet, I thought it looked like fun. I thought I’d give it a shot and make sure I did it before I graduated.
What did you do for your dives and what we fans expect in the future?
I did a front somersault, a front somersault half twist, back dive, inverse dive and a back somersault. I doubt I’ll get back on the board again. I felt like it was a one-time thing for fun to check it off the bucket list.
What will your top priority be going forward for events?
I’d say my top priorities are the 50 free, and then the 100 fly or 100 backstroke, one of those two.
Your coach called your medley performance “outstanding,” because you started a comeback with a 50 butterfly. How far do you think that team can go?
There’s definitely a dichotomy in that group. Kieran and I are seniors and older and faster than the other two sophomores. We also have a great attitude in our relay. We’re definitely trying to get that WPIAL cut in any way possible. We’re trying to have as much fun as we can possibly have.
How have you improved your times since competing at WPIALs and states a year ago?
In past years I swam club, as well. I also used to swim more days than in my senior year. I’ve had other responsibilities this year that have kind of pulled away from my swimming, so my time has been limited to really drop any times just yet. It’s just hard to drop times with other responsibilities like being student council president, because that takes up a lot of time that I could be swimming.
You’ve come close to winning individual WPIAL and PIAA titles. What would it mean to you to win a championship?
It would mean the world, but realistically I don’t know if that’s the goal. I know I haven’t trained as much in previous years, and every year the competition gets tougher and everyone gets faster. It would be very difficult. Coming close makes you realize how hard it really is to be No. 1 in any event. This year, I’ve focused on passing the torch on our team. We don’t have junior boys, so we have a lot of young guys. My role primarily is to teach the young guys and motivate them so they can do well in years to come.
Shawn Annarelli is a freelance writer.