Andrew Trepanier of Lakeville North practiced his butterfly during a recent workout at the Kenwood Trail Middle School. His specialty is the 50-yard freestyle.
Andrew Trepanier’s swimming résumé is filled with impressive accomplishments. He’s earned all-state and all-America honors, been ranked No. 1 in the nation in his age group and set numerous pool and school records since joining the Lakeville North varsity team as a seventh-grader. He hasn’t lost a regular-season race since he was a freshman.
Now the junior’s sights are set on the one high school honor that has barely eluded him: an individual state title.
Trepanier came up just short of his goal in the past two seasons, placing second in his specialty event, the 50-yard freestyle, behind now-graduated Eden Prairie standout Jordan Greenberg. Trepanier also placed second in the 100 freestyle as a freshman, finishing just 18-hundredths of a second behind the Eagles’ Griffin Back as he set a state record in the event. He tried the 100 butterfly last year at state and ended up placing third.
Those near-misses have Trepanier more motivated than ever. In addition to his intense practice regimen in the pool, he’s started working out in the weight room twice a week and improved his diet in hopes that will help him finally reach the top of the podium at the University of Minnesota’s Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center. He’s ranked No. 1 in both the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle.
“To win as a freshman and sophomore would have been amazing,’’ Trepanier said. “It was definitely tough, but I’m sticking with it and starting this summer I’ve had more drive and been hungrier than ever before. Hopefully, this year will be my year. It will definitely mean a lot after being that close the last two years.”
His main goal is to swim the fastest times in the individual freestyle races at next month’s state meet, but he’d also like his 50 freestyle time to be the fastest in state history. He started to think it could be a possibility when he finished in 20.4 seconds at junior nationals in Iowa City in December. It got more realistic in January when he swam a 19.96-second split at the Maroon & Gold Invitational. Roseville’s Michael Richards set the state record with a 20.22.
“Breaking 20 would be a historic swim,” Trepanier said. “I think it’s very attainable. I’ve worked super hard with that goal in the back of my mind. It’s something I think could happen if I have a perfect race.”
For Trepanier, a perfect race involves a quick and strong push off the wall and an extended amount of time dolphin kicking before he returns to the surface. He said that approach gives him, at 5-10, an advantage over taller swimmers who have longer reaches.
“My strengths are definitely underwaters and walls. If you watch me race, a lot of time is spent under water compared to other swimmers,” he said. “Being able to have a strong push off my walls is where I have an advantage. A lot of our practices are kick-focused, so that helps us along with power and strengths from the weight room.”
Dan Schneider, a coach in Lakeville for 42 years, guides those kick-focused practices. He said Trepanier is among the best swimmers he’s had come through the program.
“He’s very dedicated to the sport. A lot of times rather than me telling him something I’ll just say, ‘What do you think?’ and usually he has a pretty good idea of what he can do to improve,” Schneider said. “He rarely misses practices and he works really hard. Talent can only get you so far. When you’ve got talent along with a good work ethic, that’s pretty special.”