Lenert is a model student-athlete - Hawkeye Sports Official Athletic Site
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Lenert is a model student-athlete
Swimmer excels in pool as well as the classroom
Iowa's Andrej Lenert excels in the pool and the classroom.
Iowa's Andrej Lenert excels in the pool and the classroom.

Oct. 1, 2007

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    Editor's note: 24 Hawkeyes to Watch is a feature released Thursday, Aug. 2, highlighting one athlete from each of the 24 intercollegiate sports offered by the University of Iowa. More than 700 talented student-athletes are currently busy preparing for the 2007-08 athletics year at the UI. Hawkeyesports.com will introduce you to 24 Hawkeyes who, for one reason or another, are poised to play a prominent role in the intercollegiate athletics program at the UI in the coming year.

    IOWA CITY -- Andrej Lenert knows he's not the fastest swimmer on the University of Iowa's men's swimming team.

    He can, however, make a pretty strong case for being among the smartest and that's one of the many reasons why the former team captain is routinely singled out by his head coach as an example of what it means to be a student-athlete at the UI.

    A native of Yugoslavia who came to the United States and the UI via Ontario, Canada, Lenert is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering with a concentration on renewable forms of energy and, by all measures, is faring exceptionally well. He's been named to the UI's Dean's List, he's earned academic honors from the UI's Presidential Committee on Athletics, and he has been named academic all-Big Ten.

    "Graduate school is the next step," said Lenert, when asked about what the immediate future is for him academically. "I'm interested in Michigan, Cal Tech and MIT."





    Based on his track record, Lenert is likely to achieve his swimming goal. As a high school student-athlete, the 21-year-old set five Yugoslavian national age group records and, after his family fled his war-torn home country in the early `90s, Lenert earned medalist honors and posted top-three finishes provincial meets in his new home of Ontario, Quebec.


    "Just a great young man," beamed his head coach, Marc Long, about Lenert, a walk-on to the UI swimming program and a recipient of the team's Irving B. Weber Leadership Award .

    "A leader. A hard worker. Just a great guy to have on the team."

    And not that bad of a swimmer either.

    While Lenert says one of his goals is to score points at this year's Big Ten Conference championship, it's not like he's a slouch or a non-contributor. Lenert swam his collegiate best in the 200 individual medley at last year's league championships and he also posted the team's second-best time in the 200 backstroke.

    "The top 16 finishes score points in the Big Ten meet. I've come close a few times, but usually I'm swimming in the "C" finals, which is the third group of eight. I'd like to get into that "B" group this year," he said.

    Lenert was a member of the 200 medley relay team that placed seventh at the 2006 Big Ten Championships that ranks 10th all-time at the UI.

    Based on his track record, Lenert is likely to achieve his swimming goal. As a high school student-athlete, the 21-year-old set five Yugoslavian national age group records and, after his family fled his war-torn home country in the early `90s, Lenert earned medalist honors and posted top-three finishes provincial meets in his new home of Ontario, Quebec.

    And he accomplished all of this in the pool while excelling in the classroom: Lenert graduated at the top of his class at John McCrae Second School in Nepean, Ontario.

    Which brings us back to Long and his affection for Lenert and a story that they both point to and smile: Long and Lenert were enjoying a post-competition meal at a restaurant in Minnesota when Lenert noticed the waiter had an advanced physics formula tattooed on his arm. The two struck up a conversation that only a pair of future engineers could have.

    "Well, Coach kind of blanked out on that one," Lenert chuckled.

    "Yeah. There's no question that was way over my head, I was more concerned about the menu" Long said with a wide smile. "Like I said, he's a great young man...and a very, very, very intelligent one, too."



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