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Marilley returns to action in the pool

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Andrew Marilley is back in the pool, picking up right where he left off.

The Watertown soon-to-be freshman accumulated the most points of any individual in the boys ages 13-14 division at the Adirondack Long Course Championship, a USA Swimming club event, on July 19-21 at Colgate University in Hamilton.

This was Marilley’s second meet since a near-drowning incident during an underwater swimming drill on April 18 at Swim Strong Aquatic Club practice at Fort Drum.

Marilley, 14, swam the maximum of nine events, capturing six first-place medals. He won the 100-yard butterfly, 200 freestyle, 50 free, 100 free, 200 butterfly and the 1,500 free (mile).

Marilley has overwhelmed his family with an amazing recovery and return to competition.

“He made me cry on Friday night,” Marilley’s father Bill said. “I was in tears after his 100 butterfly. I couldn’t believe what he was doing. We worried he was never going to swim again.”

Andrew Marilley, who is no longer with Swim Strong Aquatic Club of Fort Drum, returned to swimming just four weeks prior to the weekend competition. He’s allowed to compete independently and has been practicing with the Mexico Tiger Sharks at Mexico High School.

Marilley placed second in the 200 breaststroke and third in both the 400 freestyle and 200 individual medley. He was third out of all the age divisions in the 1,500 free.

Bill Marilley said Andrew called him over before his first event, the 400 freestyle timed final, on Friday night, because he was very nervous. He was almost eliminated from that event before the race because the Marilleys weren’t aware of new check-in procedures. He was allowed to swim in the slowest heat and finished third in the event with a time just one second slower than his personal mark.

Marilley’s first meet since the accident was last month in Rochester. His next competition is the Eastern Zone Long Course Championship on August 7-10 in Richmond, Va. He will represent the Adirondack region. Marilley’s former Swim Strong teammate, Joey Ongkingco, has qualified for Eastern Zones in the 15-18 age group.

Marilley also competed for Watertown’s varsity team at last season’s state meet.

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