Loyola junior Everet Andrew comes from a family of talented Loyola swimmers. His father, Phil (Class of 1985), was a Division I swimmer and is in the school’s Hall of Fame. His sister, Olivia (Class of 2017), is a sophomore swimmer at UCLA who helped the Ramblers capture the program’s first state championship in 2014. A Wilmette resident and graduate of St. Francis Xavier, Everet hopes to become part of Loyola history. After growing five inches to 6-foot-4 and adding more than 30 pounds to 175 since sophomore season, his times in the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle rank among the best in the state. The Ramblers compete at the MCAC meet Saturday at Fenwick. Loyola is at the Niles North Sectional on Feb. 16. The state meet is Feb. 22-23 at New Trier. Everet’s brother, Lachlan, is a freshman swimmer at Loyola.

MAROON & GOLD: You’re one the best swimmers in the state. Yet, you told me it wasn’t one of your favorite sports growing up. When did that change?

EVERET ANDREW: I enjoyed sports from a young age, and I always thought of myself as an athlete. I played volleyball, basketball, ran cross country and track and swam. It wasn’t until eighth grade that I realized I could take swimming to the next level. Before that, I didn’t always like it. It was only when I put my mind to it and tried to do my best that I started to love it.

M&G: Given that your dad and older sister swam competitively at Loyola, did you feel any pressure to follow their lead?

EA: My dad wanted me to love whatever I did and work hard at it. He never told me I had to swim. My sister influenced me because she set a good example of what you can do if you work hard. I went to all of her state meets, and I always wanted to part of that. It was amazing to see her and her team jump into the pool after they won the state title. I knew then that’s something I wanted to do.

M&G: You have times that are under the state cut in both the 200 free and 500 free, your signature events. How are you feeling as the season hits the home stretch?

EA: I’m very excited. Our team has done so well. The younger guys have swam impressive times. The older guys are looking forward to seeing what we can do when we are rested.

M&G: You swam at the state meet for the first time last season, qualifying in the 500 free and on the 200 free and 400 free relays teams. You came agonizingly close to advancing to the finals in the 500, finishing one spot out in 13th. The good news is the 400 free relay team placed 12th. What did you take from that experience last year at Evanston?

EA: It was a big bummer missing the 500. I was so close. But being in the finals in the 400 was so much fun. I realized right then I wanted to get back there again.

M&G: The 500 is a challenging event. Only three Loyola swimmers — Joe LaJoie (Class of 1978), Greg Maurer (Class of 1991), Joe Obringer (Class of 2001) — have earned state medals. When did you realize it was a good fit for you?

EA: I never swam the 500 much before high school, but [Loyola head coach Mike Hengelmann] put me in it my freshman year. It was kind of scary. I was used to shorter distances. But I found out that I was successful at it. It helps that I like the aerobic aspect of practice.

M&G: What’s it like having Luke Maurer, a junior and state medalist, as a teammate?

EA: We are best friends and training partners. It’s very important to have someone who pushes you. We make each other better swimmers. But being a good training partner is more than helping someone swim fast. The mental aspect is big. You need someone who motivates you every day, even when you don’t want to do a set.

M&G: Loyola is undergoing a capital projects improvement that includes a new aquatics facility. Bad news is the swimming and diving team is without a pool this season. What’s that been like?

EA: Actually, it’s been a lot of fun, seeing a lot of different pools. We’ve swam at Highland Park, Evanston, Northwestern [University]. The biggest thing is it’s affected our practice times. But it will be worth it once our pool is done. I’m excited to see what it will do for our program.

M&G: Have you ever met Olympic Gold medalist Conor Dwyer (Class of 2007)?

EA: I did. I was in math class last year, and a friend told me Conor was in the lobby trying to get into the pool. I didn’t believe him. When I got out of class, I walked past the corridor where he said Conor was, and I saw him. I was shocked. I went up to him, and I was stammering. He’s a huge guy. I told him it was nice to meet him. It was very cool.

M&G: Other than swimming, what is an interest of yours?

EA: I like sailing. I’ve done it for awhile. My dad is a good sailor. I sailed competitively the summer before high school. It was a two-person boat. I had to give it up because me and my crew member were so light that we got tossed around, and I got hurt a lot. I’ve taken Luke sailing. We only tipped over twice.

M&G: Your dad was a college swimmer and your sister currently swims at UCLA. Do you want to swim in college?

EA: Yes, but it’s early in the process. I’ve been doing a lot of e-mailing, and I’ve had some phone calls with coaches. I haven’t made any visits yet. I’m looking for a place with high academics and a good swim team. The size and location of the school isn’t a factor right now. I’m excited to see how it goes.