Danish Swimmer Andreas Schiellerup Enjoying Strong Freshman Year
Feb. 17, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. – Freshman Andreas Schiellerup of the NC State swimming & diving team has quickly adjusted to life in a new country and has become an important piece of the Wolfpack program this season.
The distance from his home in Birkerod, Denmark to Raleigh - 4,255 miles to be exact - wasn’t the only obstacle for the Wolfpack’s prolific freshman swimmer.
“When I got here a week before school started, I was basically alone,” Schiellerup said. “I got to know people through my roommate and he really helped me make friends.”
Once school and swimming practice started, the college experience at NC State exceeded all of his expectations, including mastering the language barrier.
Speaking and communicating in English wasn’t as difficult as Schiellerup had anticipated, especially since he had eight years of the language in Denmark schools. “That helped me and now I am more fluent,” he noted.
Schiellerup has also enjoyed a strong freshman campaign in the pool. He captured two national titles in Denmark in November in the 50 backstroke and the 50 freestyle, setting a new Denmark national record in the 50 back with a time of 24.21.
“It’s a lot of hard work,” Schiellerup said. “It was a thrill to get to NC State and train. When you change coaches and environments, sometimes your time drops a bit, but my time quickly improved at the Denmark Nationals in Copenhagen.”
A month later, Schiellerup would also travel to Hernog, Denmark to compete at the European Short Course Championships, along with Simonas Bilis and Soren Dahl of the Wolfpack men’s squad, as well as Lotta Nevalainen of the women’s team.
Schiellerup, who began swimming at the age of six, has also enjoyed plenty of success while competing for the Pack. At the Nike Cup Invite, hosted by UNC in November, he established a new school record in the 100 backstroke with a time of 46.61. That time currently ranks as the second fastest time in the ACC in the event.
With the Denmark Nationals and European SC Championships in his home country of Denmark, Scheillerup said it was nice to spend time at home with his family and enjoy a few home-cooked meals.
Schiellerup’s household is filled with two brothers. His older sibling works in sports science and his younger brother goes to elementary school. The family fits right into the NC State mold. Schiellerup’s father is an electro engineer and his mother is a civil engineer. Currently, Andreas is looking towards eventually attending medical school and is majoring in biology.
During the recruitment process, Schiellerup had a strong desire to attend an American college and posted his information and times on a web page. After the NC State coaching staff was able to get in touch, Schiellerup came to Raleigh to visit the school and immediately fell in love.
“I definitely knew this was it,” Schiellerup recalled. “There was so much spirit on campus, the coaches and the team. The students were walking around wearing NC State t-shirts. The coaches were so passionate about what they do. It’s like a family. I never really considered going to another school.”
Throughout the first few months he has spent in Raleigh, Schiellerup has been able to adjust well to the culture of a new country.
“Raleigh is so different in what I was used to. In Denmark, it’s cold most of the year. It’s warmer here. It’s a beautiful area with a lot of nature. I love the city and the cars and the campus.”
Also, being a part of swimming & diving program has allowed Schiellerup to travel the country, which he says has been an educational experience for him.
As for the actual training procedures employed by the Wolfpack coaching staff, Schiellerup believes the methodology has complimented his swimming skills well.
“We are more focused on short distances,” he said. “The training is more sprint-oriented. That’s the biggest difference. I think definitely that the swimming & diving program is on the rise and will continue to improve in the next couple of years.”
Schiellerup has not only become one of the top swimmers for State this season, but he also ranks as one of the top swimmers in the ACC. Heading into next week’s ACC Championships in Greensboro, N.C., Schiellerup ranks in the top-10 in the league in the 100 backstroke (No. 2), 50 freestyle (No. 2) and the 100 free (No. 8) In addition, he is also part of the 400 free relay team that owns the top time in the conference, as well as the 200 free relay (No. 2), 200 medley relay (No. 4) and the 400 medley relay.
“The goal I really want to achieve is for the team to win the ACC Championship,” Schiellerup stated. “My personal goal is to do intensive training. Those are really my only personal and team goals.”