Well ahead of all of the other swimmers, Arnold Su’s ’20 only competition was the preexisting Andover pool record as he raced to the wall as the last leg of the 400 freestyle relay team. He touched the wall with a time of 3:10.74, securing a new record for Andover along with teammates Jack Warden ’19, Neil Simpson ’19 and Captain Nick Isenhower ’18. The relay team broke the 2012 Andover pool record of 3:10.84 by one tenth of a second. This race was one of many factors that contributed to Andover’s 112-58 win against St. John’s Prep on Friday night.
“[Breaking the pool record] felt pretty good. It was really quite a surprise, honestly. I think going into the race, the four of us, we were just trying to swim the best that we could and when we finally found out that we had gotten it at the end it was really a nice surprise,” said Su.
Isenhower said, “[The relay] was a good showing. We didn’t go in with any particular goal, but the record was something that we obviously looked up to and knew that was a big record set by some pretty talented guys in the past. We just went at it to see what we could do.”
Andover’s dominance on Friday translated into another successful meet on Saturday away at Deerfield, where Andover won 128-58.
At Deerfield, Andover won all but two events; the team swept the 200-Yard Freestyle, the 200-Yard Individual Medley, the 100-Yard Butterfly, and the 100-Yard Breastroke. Zack Peng ’21 won the diving competition, and newcomer Jack Curtin ’19 placed fifth. According to Peng, Andover’s diving board was broken for the entire two weeks leading up to Saturday’s meet and provided some challenges during the warm-up.
“[The boy divers have definitely improved because] Jack Curtin is a new diver [who competed in his] second meet yesterday, and I think it was really good because we haven’t practiced for two whole weeks… A lot of it was just support and positive thinking. But there is definitely room to improve and hopefully by Easterns and New England’s, we’ll be kicking their butts,” said Peng.
Many swimmers had the opportunity to swim in non-scoring exhibition heats on Saturday, where they still beat the top Deerfield swimmers in most events and demonstrated the depth of the team.
Isenhower said, “We are feeling good. It was a great opportunity to have two meets back-to-back and train like Easterns would be, having finals at night with that 5pm start, and then going back and competing the next day. It was a good showing — we did really well, considering the quick turnaround. [We] had some strong swims, people got to swim some off events as well to see where we’re at and what we need to be doing in training these next few weeks.”
According to Simpson, the team will now start to prepare for the Eastern Championship and New England Championship meets that mark the end of their season.
“So for the next two weeks, we are going to start cutting down volume a bit in practice and start the taper process in preparation for Easterns. It’s pretty exciting right now — we’re coming to the culmination of the season, Easterns and New Englands, and we’re looking forward to swimming fast,” said Simpson.
Simpson added, “We have gelled really well together. We’ve had a lot of fun together as a group, team dinners, just hanging out together all of the time. It’s been a blast so far.”
Andover will return to competition after the long weekend, and its final home meet will be held on February 10.