Bursting down the lane with the rest of Andover Boys Swimming & Diving cheering him on, Christian Alberga ’17 covered the last length of a record-breaking performance against Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) as he, Co-Captain Marcello Rossi ’16, Co-Captain Darren Ty ’16 and Nick Isenhower ’18 broke the school and pool record for the 200-Yard Freestyle Relay with a time of 1:25.30 minutes.
Alberga and Rossi set the previous school record in 2014 at 1:27.05 along with David Cao ’14 and Travis Bouscaren ’14. The new record is the seventh fastest in New England history and also qualifies for All-American consideration.
Ty started the event and finished in 21.68 seconds, Rossi and Isenhower followed in 21.38 and 21.41, respectively, and Alberga capped off the race at 20.83.
Reflecting on the race, Rossi said, “[The race] was legendary. I was second, so I had the chance to get out of the pool and watch the record be swum, so it was just very, very exciting watching Christian come in for the last 25 [yards]. When he finished the race he slapped the water and all of us went crazy and I gave him a really big high five.”
Especially for Seniors Rossi and Ty, competing in the last home meet of the season was the relay team’s motivation for breaking the record. The Co-Captains also found their achievement particularly meaningful as they both looked up to the previous record-holders when they were Lowers.
Rossi said, “The main sentiment I felt was that I had a lot of respect for the seniors in the Class of 14 and the fact that we were able to beat their record. The realization that we had surmounted that was something that was just very powerful for me because I had always looked up to them and now we were on the same level and we exceeded their level.”
Ty said, “I think our mentality before the meet really drove us. For our last home meet in our Andover careers, Marcello and I wanted to leave our own legacy on the school. We thought, What better way to do it than to break a school record? We told the the other guys this idea and they were excited to give it a shot.”
Individually, Rossi and Isenhower compete in the 200-Yard and 500-Yard Freestyle events, while Ty races in the 200-Yard Individual Medley and 100-Yard Butterfly. Alberga is the only sprinter of the four, competing in the 50-Yard and the 100-Yard Freestyle.
Rossi said, “A lot of people can do the 50 just because it’s such a short distance, so all of us were training hard in our respective events and that in and of itself allowed us to prepare well for the 50-Yard Freestyle.”
Although the team did say prior to the race that it wanted to set a new record, the swimmers were nonetheless surprised after making history. The strong result put Andover in a strong position to succeed at the New England Championships.
Alberga said, “We certainly were not expecting to break this record by so much, as this is our historically weakest relay. This has given us confidence heading to New England Championships and frightened the other teams.”