Andover Boys Crew swept Belmont Hill, Shrewsbury and Hingham for its final race on the Merrimack on Sunday. Not only was this the last race on the Merrimack, but it also marked the last race of the season for all boats except 1-3, who will continue on to Interschols next week.
With this in mind, every rower ensured that they were on their A game to bring home a sweep for the team. Emotions ran high, especially amongst Seniors, who were racing for the final time on their home course.
The racing conditions were ideal, with a temperature of 70 degrees and only a light tailwind of about 10 miles perh to help carry Boys Crew to the finish line.
Coxswain Jacob Kozul ’15 and stern pair Robert Irvin ’15 and Nico Robertson ’15 led B1 on Saturday. Behind them were Benjamin Hawley ’15, Dylan Norris ’16, Jack Lane ’15, Nick Faulkner ’16, and Gabe Blanchard ’16. Andover glided across the finish line first in 4:46 at about a full boat length in front of Hingham, who finished in 4:51. Shrewsbury claimed third in 5:23.
“The race this weekend was a lot tougher than we expected it to be. We didn’t believe we had much competition… It turned out Shrewsbury came to race and was definitely a close competitor. Nonetheless, we still rowed very hard and found new rhythm to the boat. We are gearing up for some tough competition this weekend at the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association Championship Regatta (NEIRAs) and hope to repeat last year,” said Norris.
The B3 crew consisted of Colby Lapointe ’16, Luke Bitler ’17, Isaac Pierce ’16, Jake Herman ’15, Aidan Driscoll ’17, Paul Kinard ’15, John Little ’15, Simon Sharp ’15, and coxswain Claire Wolford ’15. B3 took another open water win with a time of 5:05. Hingham finished in 5:27 and Shrewsbury trailed behind in 5:53.
Bitler said, “We took an early lead right at the start and never looked back. Our goal was more about making the race our last dress rehearsal before NEIRAs. B3 is starting to come together nicely.”
Last to race, the pressure to sweep did not faze B2. With coxswain Christina Schoeller ’16 leading the B2 crew, from bow to stern it sat Miles Neumann ’15, Tyler Lian ’16, William Humphrey’ 16, Alex Cao ’16, Carter Page ’15, Tora Liu ’16, Benjamin Beckwith ’15, and Diego Blandon ’15. Andover came out in first in 5:03. It had open water on the other boats, as Hingham came in second in 5:14, and Shrewsbury in third in 5:17.
Next week, B1, B2 and B3 will taper to prepare for the most important race of the season, NEIRAs. Last year at NEIRAs, Andover won the Team Trophy for the third time in four years thanks to second place finishes from B2 and B3 and a first place finish from B1. Andover looks to build upon its upward momentum from Saturday’s sweep to replicate last season’s success.
Editor’s Note: Tyler Lian ’16 is a Commentary Editor for The Phillipian.