Mark Wilson, a water polo player and swimmer, has hung up his towel after being one of University of La Verne’s top athletes.
Wilson is a senior and will graduate in May with a degree in business administration.
Wilson transferred to La Verne in 2009, where he has been a captain, role model and top athlete in water polo and swimming.
“I talked to the assistant water polo coach at the time to transfer to La Verne,” Wilson said. “I had never heard of La Verne before, but when I came to visit, it seemed like the right fit for me.”
In February, Wilson competed in the SCIAC swimming and diving championships where he participated in many events.
He swam in three individual events and four relays and made it to the finals for all of them.
In the 200 yard individual medley (I.M.), Wilson finished in eighth place with a time of 1:59.36, in the 400 yard I.M. he finished in sixth place with a time of 4:17.65 and in the 200 yard backstroke he placed sixth in the consolation heat with a time of 2:03.40.
His team placed seventh in the 200 yard freestyle relay, sixth in the 400 yard medley, seventh in the 800 freestyle relay and seventh in the 400 yard freestyle relay.
“It was a bittersweet feeling to be done playing college sports,” Wilson said.
Wilson grew up in Santa Rosa, 60 miles north of San Francisco.
Wilson said he joined his high school swim team because one of his friends was on the team.
He has been swimming ever since.
After graduating high school Wilson attended Santa Rosa Junior College, and was on both the water polo and swim teams.
After spending three years at Santa Rosa, he worked full time for two years.
“We are definitely going to miss Mark next year, especially in 400 I.M. and 200 I.M., he kills in that,” sophomore teammate Scott Jones said. “Mark is the big brother that I never had.”
Jones has been one of Wilson’s teammates for two years and said that he is his best friend and a great captain.
Assistant water polo coach Vince Makuch said that Wilson was a positive role model for all of the players.
“Mark was probably one of our better guys. He was a team leader, had good presence, and a positive role model to everyone,” Makuch said.
Mark is a current intern for Honda, and was a part of the 2010 Honda CR-Z Media Challenge, where his team took second in the nation.
Each member of the top three teams won an internship with Honda.
Wilson said that the internship is just starting so he does not really know how it works or what to expect.
“It would be great to work for a big company like Honda,” Wilson said.
Wilson plans on getting a job in the marketing field after he graduates in May.
“I am going to move wherever work takes me,” Wilson said.
“I am looking around right now for jobs, and I will see where that takes me.”
Cheryl Regan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.