Although plagued by illness and injury, Andover Boys Swimming refused to back down and swept Hopkins 112-66 on Saturday. The resounding victory brought the team’s record for the season to 3-2-1.
With many team members missing, several swimmers had to opportunity to step up and challenge themselves with different events. A few swimmers were also called up from the Junior Varsity team, such as Nate Cruz Walma ’18 and Paul Kinard ’15.
Cruz Walma and Kinard got off to good starts, helping Co-Captain Aaron Teo ’15 and Won Woo Kim ’15 win the 200-Meter Medley Relay with a time of 1:47.93. Later in the meet, Cruz Walma, Kinard, Nick Faulkner ’16 and Marcello Rossi ’16 won the 200-Meter Relay Freestyle in 1:34.46.
Rossi also nabbed Andover’s first individual victory by winning the 200-Meter Freestyle in 1:48.22, and later won again in the 100-Meter Freestyle with a time of 49.14.
Just before the diving break, Jonathan Xue ’17 won the 50-Meter Freestyle by just three one-hundredths of a second in 23.97. Richard Zhong ’17 then won first place in the 200-Meter Individual Medley in 2:11.26.
Jack Belluche ’16 continued his impressive undefeated streak in diving this season, winning the event with a score of 196.90 points. Robert Delaus ’16 and Matthew Grottkau ’17 both notched high scores, coming in at 167.75 points and 145.90 points, respectively.
Darren Ty ’16 further stretched Andover’s lead by winning the 100-Meter Butterfly in 53.65 immediately after the break. Andover then seized the top three places in the 100-Yard Backstroke, with Nate Smith ’18 taking the win in 58.66 ahead of Michael Najem ’16 in 1:01.66 and Felix Liu ’15 in 1:01.90.
Reflecting on the meet, Xue said, “Hopkins is a weaker team in the league, so we took this meet more as like a dress rehearsal against Exeter. We’re more focused on Exeter, because they’re one of the best teams in our league. Hopkins gave us the opportunity to shake out any loose ends and make sure everyone is at their best.”
Xue continued, “We’ve had a lot of injuries this season, so our depth chart has always been rather weak. However, we should have a complete roster heading into this weekend so we’re pretty confident [about Exeter].”
Commenting on the remainder of the season, Head Coach Jacques Hugon wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “The Exeter meet that heralds the end of the dual meet season is a week away, and the traditional taper to the New England Championships is just around the corner. At this stage of the season, swimmers start thinking about which events they will swim at the championships, and/or try different events in which they want to race at least once in the season… I believe we are getting healthy just in time to finish on a strong note.”
Andover welcomes its perennial rival Exeter on Saturday to cap off the 2014-2015 regular season.