Kropp comes 'full circle'

August 18, 2010
  • Andrea Kropp is the 2009-10 Female Athlete of the Year.
Andrea Kropp is the 2009-10 Female Athlete of the Year. (Tim Berger, Glendale…)

GLENDALE — If the sport involves a stopwatch and a finish line, chances are Andrea Kropp will finish near the front of the pack.

If the contest is taking place in water, she's usually a strong bet to finish first.

During her recently concluded senior year at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, Kropp ensured that will be her legacy when she made a grand return to high school swimming after a one-year hiatus and won a CIF Southern Section Division I 100-yard breaststroke title in her final high school meet.

That appearance at Belmont Plaza pool in Long Beach on May 14, in which she also placed third in the 200-indivudual medley and swam in a pair of relay events, served as a sturdy bookend to a prep career that began at the same place with three total titles won — in the 100 breaststroke and two relays — during her dazzling freshman debut.


Along the way, she's carved out an accomplished club swimming resume in the most prestigious national competitions, including the 2008 Olympic trials, and most recently became the national 18-and-under champion in the 200 breaststroke at the 2010 ConocoPhilips National Championships on Aug. 7.

While taking a break from high school swimming as a junior, Kropp took up cross-country and, despite no prior running experience, became the Tologs' top runner in a season that ended in a fifth-place team finish at the Division IV state meet, the best in program history.

Reprising her cross-country role this season, Kropp battled through a late-season leg injury to help the Tologs finish second in the Mission League and return to the CIF Division IV finals, where the team placed ninth.

Her return to high school swimming was the highlight of her senior year, as she led the Tologs back to the top of the Mission League as co-champions with Harvard-Westlake before shining at CIF.

During the season, she broke her own school records in the 200 breaststroke and 200-individual medley and set two new ones in the 50 freestyle and the 100 butterfly. She also won league titles in the 200-individual medley and the 100 breaststroke.

Now, Kropp is off to Princeton University in the fall, with an eye toward even bigger accomplishments ahead.

She recently sat down with News-Press sports reporter Gabriel Rizk to reflect on her myriad high school achievements and ponder what lies ahead in her bright future.

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