Warwick’s Andrew Robinson has had quite a few highlights in the pool during his athletic career at Bishop Hendricken.
Last week, there was a highlight on dry land.
With family, teammates, coaches and faculty on hand for a small ceremony, Robinson signed a National Letter of Intent to continue his swimming career at Fairfield University in the fall.
The signing marked the culmination of a journey and the beginning of a new one. For Robinson, it was also nice to take a make it official – and take a deep breath.
“It was a relief,” Robinson said. “There were so many schools I applied to. Finally picking one was good.”
Robinson started swimming when he was 8 years old. Initially, it was just an activity, and he wasn’t a standout right away. Keri Cunningham, head coach of the Rams Swimming Club, spoke at the ceremony and shared stories of Robinson’s early career.
“He wasn’t the fastest, but when somebody swam faster than him, you could see him work harder,” Cunningham said. “Then we would go to a meet and they would beat him again, but he would come back Monday and swim just as hard.”
Eventually, Robinson started to hit his stride. When he got to Hendricken, he became aware of the possibilities in front of him.
“As I got here, I started swimming and saw some of the older guys going on to college,” Robinson said. “I realized if I work hard, that’s what I can have.”
He has it now – along with a high school career to remember. Robinson was a key contributor for several years and helped the Hawks keep alive their state championship streak, which was stretched to 22 years this winter.
Robinson capped his high school career by winning the 500 freestyle at the state meet.
“Winning the 500 at the states was probably the best moment of my high school career,” Robinson said. “The guy I was swimming against wanted to have two first places, and he figured he could beat me. I was like, ‘No. I’m winning this.’ It was great.”
In addition to his success in the pool, Robinson is a strong student. He plans to major in biology with an eye on medical school.
Cunningham also praised him as leader in the pool.
“The example he set for the rest of the kids was great,” she said. “It really made him a pleasure to coach.”
As Robinson started thinking college, he knew he wanted swimming to be part of the equation. Fairfield, a Division I program, stood out among the possibilities, so Robinson got in touch with the school’s coaches.
The rest was history.
On Wednesday, Robinson made it official.
“I contacted the coach, I sent him my times and he was interested in what I had to offer,” Robinson said. “I went down and visited and talked to him. The team seemed like a great fit for me. They’re really close-knit, like the club team I’m on and the team we have here. It seemed like a great fit so I decided to do it. I’m excited about it.”