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Zennedjian: swimmer or ping-pong champ

Newswire sits down with talented Xavier swimmer

By Kyle Isaacs
On February 1, 2012

The Xavier men's swimming record book has one name that constantly appears: Michael Zennedjian.

The senior from Farmington Hills, Mich. currently holds seven Xavier records, three coming from individual events and four on relay teams. Head coach Brent MacDonald had nothing but praise for his senior swimmer.

"As a coach I appreciate Michael's ability to pass on our desires and goals to his teammates while solidifying their confidence," MacDonald said. 

The Xavier Newswire sat down with Zennedjian to learn more about the Most Outstanding Performer in the 2011 Atlantic 10 Championships. He has his sights set on capturing an A-10 title this year.

"It is a reality that we can win it because we have the talent," Zennedjian said.

When asked of his personal best race, he cited last year's A-10 championships.

"It was one of the most memorable experiences," he said.

Zennedjian, who swims the 200-yard individual medley (IM), the 400-yard IM and the 200-yard butterfly, is focused on winning those events. While the 400-yard IM is his favorite event to swim, he holds the school record in each of those individual races. Zennedjian said he is excited about the current freshman class and the chances of a Xavier swimmer winning the A-10 Rookie of the Year award. Zennedjian began swimming as a youngster in Michigan.

"I was five years old when my mom threw me in the pool and I floated, so I figured I would stick with swimming," Zennedjian said.

He seems to have made a good decision according to MacDonald, who pointed out that Zennedjian has positioned himself as one of the greatest swimmers in Xavier history.

"He has a chance to finish this year and take all doubt away that he is the best swimmer to suit up for Xavier," Macdonald said.

When he is not in the pool, the marketing major competes in another sport: Ping-Pong.

"I'm really good at Ping-Pong. I'm probably better at it than I am at swimming," he said.

Zennedjian enjoys watching tennis and following his favorite player, Roger Federer. In addition to watching tennis, he also enjoys following the Detroit Tigers and is excited for the  upcoming season with the newest Tiger, Prince Fielder. Following his career at Xavier, Zennedjian plans to compete at the Olympic qualifying trials in the summer.

"There is a meet four weeks after the A-10 championships. If I do well in that meet, I will continue on to the Olympic trials in July," Zennedjian said.

He plans on trying to qualify in three different events, but realizes the difficulty because only the top two swimmers in each event advance.

"It is one of the most competitive Olympic teams to make," Zennedjian said.

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