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Industrial engineering swimmer wins academic honors

Michael Lopresti, an industrial engineering junior, was named to the Big 12 Conference Academic First Team.

Michael Lopresti has been swimming almost as long as he’s been walking. The College of Engineering junior in industrial engineering started swimming competitively with a club program when he was five-years old, and stroked his way through high school and into an athletic scholarship with Mizzou men’s swim team.

In addition to distinguishing himself in the breaststroke and individual medley swimming events on the MU team, Lopresti was named to the Big 12 Conference Academic First Team last semester, his fourth semester on the Engineering Dean’s List.

“Swimming forces me to have good time management skills,” said Lopresti, explaining his success. A typical day includes swim practice from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., and again from 3:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. He said he usually starts his homework at about 7 p.m., and sometimes he’s still at it at midnight.”

“Michael’s disciplined approach to all he does is so apparent in both his academics and swimming,” said Professor Jim Noble, Lopresti’s advisor. “I expect to see great things from Michael in the future.”

An Ohio native, Lopresti received offers from OSU, as well as Maryland and South Carolina, but said he fell in love with Mizzou’s facilities and with the way the team seemed so bonded.

“There are a lot of ways to get noticed by colleges, but the big national club swimming meets are probably the best,” said Lopreseti. “My parents drove me all over for those meets, and I like to think I’m paying them back now with the scholarship I received.”

The swim team narrowly missed the NCAA competition last year, and placed 18th in the country in the relay event. “That’s pretty darn good in Division One swimming,” Lopresti said.

This summer, the swimmer is doing an internship with Lakeshore Cryotronics in Westerville, Ohio, but still manages to swim at least two hours every day, staying in shape for his return to the MU swim team and his engineering classes.

“MU has been great. It’s a place I’d be happy even if I wasn’t swimming,” he said. I’ve enjoyed my entire experience.”