Tasman swimmer Sam McKenzie is eager to get his third year of a swimming scholarship at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona.
The 21-year-old returned home in March as the Coronavirus pandemic took hold around the world.
“It all happened quite quickly,” he says. “I just had to get home.”
From that point on he had almost seven weeks out of the pool, the longest break he had since he was in primary school.
McKenzie was part of Grand Canyon University’s WAC Championship-winning squad, but he admits he is not sure what type of season he will be returning to.
“We just have to try to make the best of the situation but I am keen to get back over there,” he says.
“Going over to the US has been a great move. It’s helped me with my education and allowed me to really improve my swimming.”
McKenzie says one of the biggest improvements he has made in the pool over the past few years has been his work rate while underwater.
He praised his Tasman Swim Club mentor Andy Adair for setting him up to succeed at college.
“This was something he and I spoke about early on and then really worked forward, so it’s been great to achieve what I’ve been able to and he’s a big part of it.
“I’ve made some great friends and really learnt a lot about myself while being away from home.”
Sam hopes to go back sometime next month.