Captain Nick Isenhower ’18 and the top Choate swimmer were neck and neck as they headed into the second half of the 100-Yard Freestyle sprint when Isenhower executed a stronger turn and out-touched his opponent in the last second. This victory contributed to Andover’s 102-81 win over Choate in its first meet of the season.
According to Head Coach David Fox, after the 100-Yard Backstroke, Andover and Choate agreed to swim the last two events — 100-Yard Breastroke and 400-Yard Freestyle Relay — as non-scoring exhibition events because of Andover’s dominant performance up to that point in the meet. The score preceding the 100-Yard Breaststroke and 400-Yard Freestyle Relay was 102-56.
“I was very excited since this was my first meet here at Andover, but at the same time I was nervous as well. I had never swum the 500[-Yard] Freestyle before, so I was a little uneasy, but I asked Anthony [Minickiello ’20] for some tips, and I had a rough idea of how to swim it. I also think that the team is very supportive and has great chemistry with each other, which made the meet very fruitful and also a fun experience,” said Marcus Lee ’21.
Newcomers on the team played an important role in the victory. Zack Peng ’21, the only male diver on the varsity team, placed second on Saturday.
Peng said, “I wanted to give everyone a good first impression and establish that I could contribute and do well throughout the swim and dive season. Throughout several years of competitive diving, I have never felt more comfortable during the period of time before competition because of the friendly support from all my teammates… I am honored to have the opportunity to spend this season with this wonderful team, and I really look forward to what we can accomplish in the next couple of weeks.”
Despite only having had a few full practices together this season, the team excelled as a unit, sweeping the top three spots in the 200-Yard Freestyle, 100-Yard Butterfly, and 100-Yard Breaststroke, and placed first in every event except the 50-Yard Freestyle.
“In preparation for the meet, we’ve just been practicing. Obviously, we all just got back to campus after break, so we had to put in a lot of work individually at home these past two weeks. At Andover, we’ve been conditioning and getting back into swim shape. More training is ultimately what we need to improve. We just need to stay focused and get into the swing of things,” said Isenhower.
Peng said, “I think in general, as a team, we do not lack in much. The support and optimism we share will really help us to improve all together both physically and mentally for the upcoming meets. I believe that we can really get those extra points and reach the higher scores just by paying attention to small details and imperfections in our dives [and swims].”
Isenhower said, “I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do this season, coming off of a very successful one last year. There’s a lot of energy and talent in this team that I look forward to seeing over the next few months.”
The team will travel to Loomis Chaffee on Saturday with hopes to continue improving times and dives and to secure another win.