To begin Andover Boys Swimming & Diving’s meet against Loomis Chaffee on Saturday, Sam Donchi ’20 swam the 50-Meter backstroke leg of the 200-Meter Medley Relay to secure the win for Andover. Donchi also won both the 200-Meter and 400-Meter Freestyle events. Donchi’s successes fortified Andover’s 102-81 win over Loomis. The team’s record now stands at 2-0.
“Coming off the season’s first full week of heavy training, the boys did not disappoint, and the Pelicans pushed them in many ways that will pay off at the end of the season,” wrote Coach David Fox in an email to The Phillipian.
Jacob Hudgins ’19 said, “Going into the meet, our team was ready to race. All of our sets [at practice] were geared towards endurance training that, in the end, makes us a step closer to performing well at Easterns and [New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (Nepsac) Championships].”
Despite not having a full team at the meet, as swimmers Arnold Su ’20, Adam Vlasic ’20, and Jack Warden ’19 were competing at the Speedo Winter Junior Championships, Andover won all but two races against Loomis.
“For me, the Loomis meet was a little strange competing without Adam, Arnold, and Jack as well as many of us swimming ‘off events.’ It was still great to compete and to beat an always-strong Loomis team, but [it] just wasn’t the same without everyone there,” said Anthony Minickiello ’20, who won the 100-Meter Butterfly.
Harvey Zheng ’19, who placed second, said, “Everyone performed well for such an early meet, especially at a 25-meter pool, which we’re not used to… We had a hard week of training going into the meet, so we weren’t really prepared to race fast. Instead, our goal was to ‘rehearse’ our races for Easterns and Nepsac Championships and try out any racing strategies and see if any part [of] our events could be improved.”
“I think the team’s grit has improved; everyone went through at least one hard, fast practice in the days leading up to the meet, and the grit showed in our racing. We swam events we usually don’t swim, but despite that, we still tried our best and raced our best to the end of the race,” continued Zheng.
The team will integrate its training and speed into its next meet, a tri-meet against Suffield and Peddie on January 13. According to Coach Fox, this will mark the first time the entire team will be swimming together.
Neil Simpson ’19 said, “During the break, we will all be training with local clubs at home or independently. Coming back from the break, our focus will be getting ready for Easterns and taking advantage of every opportunity we can to prepare for that meet.”
Editor’s Note: Harvey Zheng ’19 is an Associate Web Developer for The Phillipian.