PHOENIX, Arizona, November 7. ON today's edition of the Morning Swim Show, high school senior Andrea D'Arrigo talks about his recent move from Rome to the Gainesville, Florida. He made the move to give himself a chance to swim at the university level. On the show, he reveals his choice of school and why athletics was not the only thing playing into his decision.
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Jeff Commings: This is the Morning Swim Show for Wednesday, November 7th, 2012. I am your host Jeff Commings. Today in the FINIS Monitor is a high school senior who you might not have heard of before, but you will soon. Andrea Mitchell D'Arrigo and his family moved to the United States from Italy to give him the opportunity to swim and study at an American university, and Andrea joins us now from Gainesville, Florida to tell us where he is going. Andrea, welcome to the show. It is good to see you. How are you?
Andrea Mitchell D'Arrigo: Hello. So fun to be here, thank you.
Jeff: So tell us where you are going to be going to college next year?
Andrea: Well, for my pleasure I am going to be at University of Virginia next year and several years.
Jeff: So why did you pick them?
Andrea: Well, I applied to different schools and they happened to be really interested in me since I filled out their recruitment and I am happy to be there, so it is the best choice for me.
Jeff: Now, I remember when we talked to you earlier when you picked Virginia. You had said that you had visited there as a child. How old were you?
Andrea: Like 6 to 7.
Jeff: So you probably don't remember much about it?
Andrea: No, I just went there and my mom said that I was very happy to be there and I wanted to live there. That is what I said when I was there so it is cool.
Jeff: What other schools did you apply to go to?
Andrea: Well, UF and then I applied to Princeton, Harvard and Stanford.
Jeff: Wow, Princeton, Harvard and Stanford.
Jeff: Those are pretty big schools. So in the end it was Virginia, tell us about what was it about Virginia specifically with the team and the school there that made you think it was the best place for you?
Andrea: Well, they were very interested in me since I filled out their recruitment and they decided to come here in Gainesville and see me and I just think it is one of the best schools. They say it is the best public school in the States and they have a really great middle distance program and coach Bernardino said I would fit in well there, and just academics or grades so I don't think I could have chosen a better school than that.
Jeff: Well it is kind of interesting that you applied actually to go to University of Florida, which is in Gainesville where you live right now.
Jeff: So it was probably pretty easy for them to try to recruit you since you are there at the pool everyday and you know, you see the campus all the time. So what, you know how difficult was it for you to pick Virginia over Florida and possibly staying near your home right now?
Andrea: Well, it wasn't that easy and I came here because I probably would have gone to University of Florida and I moved here because I was close to them and I wanted to see how it worked, but I probably would have gone to UF, if it wasn't for Virginia and their really good school, but I preferred to have a better academic than only swimming and I chose Virginia for that.
Jeff: And as we said on the top of the show, you moved here from Rome. When did you move here to United States?
Andrea: At the beginning of August.
Jeff: Beginning of August, so you haven't been here very long. Obviously your English is very good, is that something that you had been studying in Italy?
Andrea: Yeah. I did English there even though it is not the same level as here and because of my mom I know English.
Jeff: Well I got to tell you, your English is pretty good. I think you would be able to function very well no matter where you go in the United States.
Andrea: I will do that.
Jeff: So let's talk about your swimming. You've got some great long course times: 3:51 in the 400 free, 1:49.3 in the 200 free, you did these at a long course meet in Italy in June. Really fast for someone who is about to be a high school senior. Did you expect to go that fast at that meet?
Andrea: I didn't expect to go that fast at that meet because I had a pretty tough season. I have got – training but I pretty much expected those times because the year before the world championships I did 3:52 and 1:50 long course and pretty much stayed on those times for a year so I just dropped a little bit during that meet.
Jeff: So tell me what your training was like in Italy and then how different or similar it was when you moved to Florida.
Andrea: Well, in Italy I would mainly do freestyle. The workout would almost always freestyle and some not much kicking and not at all any gym and when I came here it just was the opposite. They have a lot more stroke and medley and they do running and it is all new stuff for me. I would do a lot of middle distance swimming and kilometers and technique.
Jeff: Do you think it is helping you, the training that you are doing at the Gator Swim Club?
Andrea: Yeah. I think it is. I am doing strokes that I have never did before, so yeah it is helping my freestyle too.
Jeff: So you have no short course yards times yet because you just moved here to the United States.
Jeff: And as you told us you are not going to swim at the Florida State High School Meet in a week, so will you try to swim in a short course yards meet before you go to college just to kind of post some good times?A
ndrea: Yeah, I am going to do some of the races here in yards, but my main events will be the worlds, I mean the Europeans in France. They are short course meters, but I want to do some races in yards here.
Jeff: Do you think you will do any shave and taper yard meets?
Andrea: I don't know yet but no I will I kind of taper for middle of April when they have the Italian trials, I won't taper that much this year.
Jeff: So that means we are pretty much not going to know what your potential is in yards until you get to college. I mean that has got to be pretty exciting for you to know that that is kind of out there for you that you don't even know what you can do. So tell us what kind of goal times you have for yourself in yards?
Andrea: In yards? I think I can do pretty well in yards because I have good walls and underwaters so maybe 1:34 next year.
Jeff: That is pretty good as a freshman.
Andrea: Yeah or 4:15.
Jeff: That would be pretty good for a freshman. Now you said you have good underwaters. Is that something that you have always been good at or is that something that has been new since you moved to the United States?
Andrea: No, I have been pretty good at underwaters since I started, yeah.
Jeff: Now you go to a kind of an interesting school. It is called the Gainesville PK Yong Research Development School. What exactly is this school all about?
Andrea: Well, you got – there is a lot of different types of people and students and it is like a preparation school for a university, so it is practically the high school of Florida let's say.
Jeff: So it is still like it is still just a regular high school.
Andrea: Just a regular high school and it is practically a U.S. high school.
Jeff: Okay. Well like I said you just moved here to United States, what are your overall impressions of this country so far?
Andrea: Well, I came here a lot in the summer, so it is what I expected, it is nice and people are open and they care a lot about sports and education.
Jeff: Very interesting and so has this always been a goal of yours since you know — when was this goal of yours to want to move permanently to United States?
Andrea: I wanted to come here last year, but I prefer to stay home and see if I could get a shot at the Olympics, but I wanted to come here and prepare myself for university and get in the American system.
Jeff: Well I think it is going to work out well Andrea, I think we are really looking forward – we are all looking forward to seeing how you do. It is always interesting to see someone who is kind of untapped as they say to see what their potential is going to be and we are very anxious to see how you do not just your freshman year, but in these coming months so thanks for joining us today Andrea, best of luck to you and we will be following your progress.
Andrea: Okay, thank you.
Jeff: All right so that is Andrea Mitchell D'Ariggo joining us in the FINIS Monitor and that is going to do it for today's Morning Swim Show as always we invite you to join us on swimmingworld.com, Facebook and Twitter for the latest news. I am Jeff Commings. Thanks for watching.