From the Windy City to the Snow Belt: Chicago Swimmer Works to Improve at SPIRE Institute

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Andrew Grever lives in the pool. Swimming since the fourth grade, now 15-year-old Andrew still spends most of his time in the water, and doesn’t mind one bit. Currently at SPIRE Institute for the two-week academy camp program, Andrew continues to work hard both in and out of the water to reach his goals.

Grever (middle) training at SPIRE Institute Academy Camp

From Chicago, Illinois, Andrew visited SPIRE Institute earlier in the year for a swim meet and loved the facilities. “I came here for a swim meet called Zones and I heard they had a summer camp, so I decided to come back and attend camp,” Andrew said. As a sophomore in high school and member of the Lincoln Way Swim Association, he decided that now was the time to make the commitment to improve his techniques in order to achieve his goal of swimming in college.

“I would love to make it to the Olympic trails, and we will see if that happens,” Andrew said. “But I would also love to swim in college especially at the University of Michigan.” As a freestyle swimmer, Andrew said that his favorite and best events are the mile and the 500 freestyle.

Director of Competitive Swimming at SPIRE Institute, Gregg Sarbak, has been working with Andrew of the past two weeks and is very excited about the way his training is progressing.

“I think he is a very, very talented athlete. He comes in and trains really hard and is willing to do things that not a lot of swimmers are willing to do,” Sarbak said. “He is in much better shape now then he was when he came in just because of the work that he has put in. He has done a great job at working everything that we ask him to work with so I am anxious to see what he does in the future.”

“Coach Sarbak definitely works me very hard, but that is a good thing,” Andrew said. Though it is clear that Andrew is a great swimmer, many athletes and coaches have talked even more about how nice of a person he is out of the water.

Andrew Grever in the pool at SPIRE Institute

“He is extremely nice, very patient, very positive,” Sarbak said. “He works great with all of the other swimmers encouraging them and building them up and saying ‘let’s go guys we can do this.’ Even with the international athletes, Andrew is patient and able to help them break through the language barrier.”

“He is already a fast swimmer so it will be fun to see how fast he will get and how far he goes. We would love to have more athletes like Andrew be a part of SPIRE Swimming.”

SPIRE Institute is full of wonderful athletes that are work hard everyday to reach their goals. Be sure to follow us out on Facebook and Twitter at SPIRE Institute and on Instagram at spire_institute to continue to learn more about SPIRE Institute. If you are interested in experiencing SPIRE Camps, please visit