Andrea Hupman's used to being lonely at the NCAA Championships.
Not many of her Northwestern teammates have advanced to college swimming's top event in her first three seasons, including a sophomore season when she was the Wildcats' lone representative.
But this season, her last in college, should be much better. Northwestern has qualified 10 swimmers for the NCAAs, and Hupman is looking forward to their support as she swims in three relays and three individual events.
"I'm excited about having (my teammates) there," the Brookwood grad said. "Having them actually there with me with help put me in my comfort zone."
Hupman enters her final college meet with high hopes after a dominant showing at the Big 10 meet, where she was named the league's top swimmer.
The senior has a top-10 seed in three events at NCAAs, and has a good chance at placing in those three, the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle. She set three Big 10 records and won two individual titles in those events at the conference meet. Her times were 22.40 seconds in the 50 free, 48.53 in the 100 free and 1:44.89 in the 200 free.
She will test those times against the nation's best at the NCAA meet next week.
"I want to go out with a bang (at NCAAs), to put it in cliche terms," said Hupman, whose sister Christie swam at Georgia. "It's going to be my last college meet and I have nothing to lose. I may as well go all out."
Hupman plans to train at Northwestern through this summer's Olympic Trials. When she graduates with a degree in biomedical engineering, she isn't sure of her future plans, although she likely won't attend medical school like most of her classmates and her sister Christie.
She said she's more interested in the business side, and may pursue an MBA. In her free time, Hupman has volunteered with "Get a Grip," a program at a middle school to raise awareness with younger children about the engineering field. The goal of the project with the youngsters is to design a prosthetic arm for a fictional girl in Afghanistan.
"We've been talking to them about torque, levers, those kinds of things," Hupman said. "It's been a really cool experience for me."
Anderson named A-10's top rookie
Richmond point guard Kevin Anderson, a Peachtree Ridge grad, was selected on Monday as the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year in voting by the league's 14 head coaches.
Anderson, a seven-time A-10 Rookie of the Week selection, is third on the Spiders in scoring (10.5) and leads in assists (3.0) and steals (1.8, second in the conference).
Luckhurst finishes among leaders
Tulane senior Nikki Luckhurst finished her career among the top 3-pointers shooters in her school's history. The Wesleyan grad made 193 3-pointers, second-most in the Green Wave's history and seventh-most in Conference USA history.
TRACK AND FIELD
Addy gets SEC award
Norcross grad Jangy Addy, a senior at Tennessee, was named on Tuesday as the SEC Field Athlete of the Year.
Addy won the heptathlon title at the SEC Indoor Championships for the second straight season in 2008 with a score of 5,836 points.
Union pair are All-Americans
Union College juniors Johnnie Nabors, a Meadowcreek grad, and Andre Thornton, a South Gwinnett grad, both earned All-American honors for their performances at the NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships.
Nabors was third at nationals in the 60 meters with a time of 6.85 seconds, making him a two-time All-American. Thornton earned the first All-American award of his career by placing fifth in the 200 with a time of 22.15.
Gwinnett Grads is a column that runs on Saturdays spotlighting the achievements of past Gwinnett standouts. Coaches and parents are urged to send suggestions via e-mail to email@example.com or via fax to 770-339-8081.