It was fairly early in her life when Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy's Andrea Kropp, now all of 13 years old, determined what her athletic focus would be.
"I've just always loved swimming," said Kropp, who took up the sport recreationally at age 5 and began training as a club swimmer when she was 8. "I played tee-ball when I was 4, but once I started swimming I never played any other sports."
The dedication and desire with which Kropp has approached her training as a swimmer over the years was never more apparent than in the spectacular results produced in her first season of high school swimming.
As a Mission League, CIF Division II and Masters Meet champion, Kropp enjoyed the most consistent overall success in 2007, thereby earning the distinction of All-Area Girls' Swimmer of theYear, as voted on by the sportswriters and editors of the La Cañada Valley Sun, Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader and Crescenta Valley Sun.
"With her individual medley ability, I could see she was going to be a great asset to the school and the team, and a true team player," said Gary Appell, Head Coach of the Mission League champion and Division II runner-up Tologs. "She did everything that I personally felt she could do in her first year."
Kropp was the top breaststroker in the Southern Section this season, claiming a Masters Meet title in the 100-yard breaststroke in a Masters-record time of 1 minute, 3.80 seconds.
The May 15 event capped off a whirlwind finish to the season, a 10-day span in which Kropp also won breaststroke titles in the May 12 CIF Division II final (1:03.69) and May 4 Mission League final (1:06.96).
In addition to her individual triumphs, Kropp was also a key ingredient in the Tologs' Mission League and Division II-champion 200 medley and 4x400 relay teams.
The 4x400 freestyle relay team, which included Alex Marquez, Briana Swinney and Tricia Dobson, swam to a school record 3:41.64 at the league finals and topped that mark with a 3:35.48 time at CIF.
The same quartet also set a new school record, 1:54.44, in the 200 medley relay at the league finals, before turning in a CIF title-winning run of 1:50.11.
"The progression of events was a lot closer together," Kropp said of her season's end. "With league, CIF and Masters it was all just bang-bang-bang in a row and you don't really get much rest time."
Rest is something that will still have to wait, as Kropp turns her focus to club swimming for the summer, with an eye toward her next season at Sacred Heart.
"I'm really looking forward to it because our relay team is all freshmen and sophomores," she says. "I think we can win CIF this year."