Last year, Noguchi was a four time Atlantic 10 Performer of the Week in addition to setting three individual records. (Photo by Elizabeth Zanghi/The Ram)
Shintaro Noguchi is in the middle of his fourth season with the Fordham swimming and diving team. A three-time all Atlantic 10 honoree, he is off to a quick start this season as one of the team’s captains and has won six individual events already. The Fordham Ram got in touch with him via email.
The Fordham Ram: What made you choose Fordham, especially being from California?
Shintaro Noguchi: The funny thing is, Fordham was the only school I chose outside of California. I applied to most of the University of Californias with great swimming programs. My senior year of high school, I was assisting a teacher whose son swam with me on my club team, and she told me about Fordham University and the great swimming program it had here. She went to a Jesuit college herself, and she told me that getting a Jesuit education was one of the best decisions of her life, and I completely agree. On my recruiting trip here, I was indecisive between UC Davis and Fordham. But one of the big issues at that the time was if UC Davis was going to keep their swimming program or not because of the California budget cuts. And on the final night of my recruiting trip here, they cut the men’s swimming team at Davis, which was the decision maker for me to sign with Fordham. I’d say fate made me come here.
TFR: You earned the best newcomer award on the Redwood High School swimming team. Did you not begin your swimming career until high school?
SN: I did earn the best newcomer award on my high school swimming team, but I had been swimming competitively for about nine years by then. I began my competitive swimming at the age of five in the eight and under category of our local swimming club called the Marin Pirates. The reason why I began swimming at such an early age was because I was a child with a lot of energy and my neighbor, who was about four years older than me, started to swim with the Marin Pirates. My mother thought that taking swimming lessons would be a great outlet for my energy. I joined at the age of four and, after a month of training, I was able to join the actual team.
TFR: In your first three years with Fordham swimming you have received All-Atlantic 10 honors each season. How have you been able both to improve and maintain this level of performance?
SN: I have been able to improve and maintain myself through enough rest. The break we have after a very long six and a halfmonth season is very important to me. The springtime lets me enjoy other aspects of life besides swimming, which are equally important, if not more. By the end of my short break, I am itching to get back into competitive shape, which helps me push myself even harder than the season before. During the summer, I continue to stay in competitive shape either at home and/or at Fordham as well. Skipping a lot of training over the summer is something I try to avoid because getting back into shape may be one of the exhausting times during training.
TFR: What is your favorite event to swim?
SN: I would have to say the 100-yard butterfly is my favorite event to swim. I love the feeling of water rushing past my body as I kick underwater, and then the feeling of gliding on the surface of the water is very relaxing.
TFR: Do you credit your success to anyone specific or to any group of people?
SN: I would credit my success of swimming to my three main coaches: Mehrad Zarrehparvar, Warren Lager and the coaches of Fordham. They have all been very supportive of me throughout my training and growth as a person as well. These coaches knew how to push me to my limits and help me reach my full potential throughout every practice, thus making me into a better athlete. Without these coaches, I would not be the person I am today.
TFR: What is your favorite part about attending Fordham?
SN: My favorite part about attending Fordham would definitely be the friendships I have made here. Everyone here is very sociable, and it is very easy to make new friends on a daily basis.
TFR: What is your favorite memory from Fordham swimming thus far?
SN: My favorite memory from Fordham swimming thus far was getting the gold in the 200-yard Freestyle relay at the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship my sophomore year. We were not the favorites to win this race at all, in fact we were selected to get fifth place overall. Every one of us swam our lifetime best for our respective leg of that race. As I anchored the relay and finished, I had no idea we won and all I could see were my teammates going nuts. We ended up breaking the school record and it was the first time the men’s swimming team had won a relay at the A-10 Championships since 1996.
TFR: As one of four senior co-captains on the swimming team, do you have any hopes for your final months of Fordham swimming?
SN: My hopes as a co-captain on the swimming team this year are to continue the dedicated training we have been doing so far this season. We have been pushing ourselves day in and day out, which I know will have big results come championship time. I would love for our team chemistry to continue to grow as well. We have a massive amount of talent on the team, and if we can maintain the positive team chemistry I know we will swim faster than we ever have. When it comes to the Atlantic 10 Championship in February, if the men’s team could place in the top three, it would end my time here at Fordham with a bang.
TFR: What legacy do you hope to leave with the Fordham swimming and diving program and the underclassmen members of the team?
SN: The legacy I would like to leave here with the Fordham swimming and diving program is the overall positive team chemistry. I have never seen this team so close together and comfortable with each other in the past years. Our positive team will play into our performance during practice and during competitions as well, and honestly I can already see the great results.
TFR: Do you have any plans for after graduation?
SN: At the moment, I don’t have a lot of plans set in stone, but I am most likely leaning towards continuing my studying and furthering my swimming career. If I decide to continue my competitive training for another two more years after graduation, my main goal will be to compete at the 2016 USA Olympic Trials.