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Irish freshman records fastest start in 200-meter individual medley

Heather VanHoegarden | Thursday, August 19, 2004

Andrew MacKay has always had quick reflexes. But it wasn’t until the Olympics that the Cayman Islands competitor was really able to show them off.The Notre Dame freshman got off the starting block in the 200-meter individual medley Wednesday morning in just 0.59 seconds, the fastest time in the 2004 games by any non-backstroker. As a result, he finished 41st in the 50 swimmer field – 6 places higher than his seeding.Sunday he broke his own national record with a time of 4:32.38 in the 400-meter individual medley, good for a 33rd place finish. Wednesday, he swam the200-meter individual medley in 2:07.65, a personal best.”It was my best time, so I can’t complain about that,” MacKay said from Athens. “I would have liked to go a little faster, but with all the nerves at the Olympics, I was happy.”MacKay’s quick start in the 200-meter individual medley helped him distance himself from the field, as his start was .02 seconds faster than anyone else in the field.”I’ve always had a pretty good start,” he said. “Playing a lot of sports growing up, I guess you just develop a quick reaction.”MacKay will enter Notre Dame this fall as the only Notre Dame men’s swimmer to have participated in the Olympics. He also holds the Cayman Islands national records in the 100-meter butterfly, and several other record in the backstroke, breaststroke and individual medley events. He reached the Olympics after earning an invitation in both the 200-meter individual medley and 400-meter individual medley at the 2003 Pan Am Games.”It was huge,” MacKay said of the Olympics. “You’re up against the best in the world.”MacKay said he will be in South Bend the day after the closing ceremonies, which are August 30. He will be flying from Athens straight to South Bend to join the rest of the class of 2008.”I can’t wait to get there and enjoy the campus,” MacKay said.