Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent

UNITED States of America based swimmer Brendon Cyprianos is relishing the prospect of leading the Mars Hill University swimming team after being handed the captaincy.

Though not expecting to be given the leadership role at this stage of his career at Mars Hill, Cyprianos has taken the appointment in his stride.

“It came as a surprise to me, I wasn’t even aware of the opportunity at the time. It turns out a couple of my professors nominated me as they felt I would do a good job.

“It is a great opportunity to both lead and learn. Working with a team coming from diverse backgrounds, it will be a great challenge that I am ready to live up to.

“I hope to grow as a person and to make sure that my presence as a captain has a positive effect for those around me,” he said.

Cyprianos’ elevation takes effect as they return to the pool following a long layoff due to the coronavirus that saw most sporting activities being put on hold.

The Mars Hill swimming team, made up of 20 swimmers, gets back into the pool beginning Monday, with their last event having been in February.

“I’m excited, we’re getting back in the water as a team on the 14th of September, so I’m really just trying to condition myself out of the water, gaining fitness in other areas and preparing myself mentally for the season

“I haven’t been in the water since February but I have been working out, outside the water as much as possible. Practicing alone twice a day in the morning and afternoons, usually a 5km run.

“The key to overcoming such a situation is staying focused and knowing why you are doing it, this is because even in times of uncertainty, you never want to be caught on the wrong side,” said Cyprianos.

“My goal is to make NCAA championship times and I am close to the times, so I am staying motivated.”

The former Christian Brothers College pupil followed in his brother, Andresious’ footsteps after securing a swimming scholarship, says the move has paid dividends as he has managed to significantly improve his times.

He also holds the college record in the 200 yards backstroke event.

“Since my freshman (first) year, I have cut about six seconds off my best event and in turn I am now the school record holder in the 200 yards backstroke event,” said Cyprianos.

He set the new time in November last year during the midseason meet in Charlotte shaving off 0.05 seconds as he touched the pad in a time of 1.51.75 and further went on to lower the record during the conference championships in Charlotte in February clocking 1.51.44.