BU swimmer dominates PSAC individuals

Andy Thomas puts together a Hall of Fame career in just three seasons.


Andy Thomas swims the 100-freestyle. Photo via Athletic Marketing and Communication.

Jack Dixon, Sports Editor

When Bloomsburg University swimmer Andy Thomas was four, he was shoved into a pool. Not knowing how to swim, he sunk to the bottom. After his mother jumped in and rescued him, she decided it was time for her boys to take lessons. But there was no way she could’ve ever imagined the opportunities she had just opened up for her children.

            Thomas started swimming competitively when he was eight, joining the summer swim club at his local town pool, competing against other locals in summer meets. Thomas never looked back.

            When Thomas got to high school, he had big shoes to fill. His brother, Mike, had a great high school career and would go on to swim at the University of California, Berkeley for four years.  But Andy was determined to prove that his brother wasn’t the only great swimmer in the family.

“I was a freshman when [my brother] was a senior, and he got almost the entire record board for the men’s side, then I came through and I took about half his records.” Thomas said.

            Thomas’s high school career was enough to earn him a scholarship to the University of Tennessee. After a recruiting visit, Thomas thought the team would be a great fit for him, describing the training as “laid back”. However, during his freshman year, the team revamped their training, requiring Thomas to train twice a day in distance and mid-distance.

“I would say I was doing about three times the yardage that I would end up doing here,” Thomas recalled.

Thomas felt like he didn’t sign up for this type of rigorous training and also wasn’t swimming in the events he felt he was best at. After a conversation with the coaches, Thomas decided to quit the team.

            His sophomore year, he transferred to Bloomsburg after Luke Emig, Thomas’s High School coach’s son and former BU swimmer, recommended he come here. Thomas spoke with Coach Stu Marvin and Marvin invited him to come here and train for a week. Thomas came for a visit and decided this was the place for him.

            In his time at Bloomsburg, Thomas racked up 16 PSAC gold medals, including a perfect 12 for 12 record in PSAC individual events. Thomas also managed to break 3 individual school records, was a part of the squad that broke the 800-relay school record, and holds 2 conference records as well. Thomas recalls his 12th and final PSAC gold as the most meaningful.

            In his final day at the 2023 PSAC Championship, Thomas said he wasn’t swimming his best, and he could feel his teammates were nervous about his final event, the 100-freestyle.

He said “I could tell my teammates wanted me to get it but I could tell they weren’t really sure. I go in and just barely sneak the win in my last individual. I finally sealed the deal, a perfect record for those years and that was just the best feeling ever.”

            Thomas will graduate in May and should be a shoo-in for Bloomsburg University’s Athletic Hall of Fame, racking up all these achievement in just three years.