Arnold Su ’20 broke Andover’s oldest pool record on Saturday with a time of 46.69 seconds in the 100-Yard Freestyle. Andover Boys Swimming & Diving went on to win its meet against Hopkins with a score of 123-58, extending its undefeated record to 7-0.
When asked about his record, Su said, “I’m pretty excited. Honestly, it wasn’t something that I expected to get at that meet, but it was the last event of the meet, and the last home meet of the season, so I wanted to put in my all. When I finally touched the wall, it was surprising and really exciting to see that time.”
He continued, “I think [racing Nick Isenhower ’18] was a big aspect of why I got it. I don’t think Nick and I have really raced in a meet before, so that was a big push.”
The record which Su broke, set in 1983, was swum in a time of 47.26 seconds.
Su’s record is one of many impressive late-season performances, as Andover secured a first-place finish in every event.
According to Zack Peng ’21, who won the diving event with a score of 261.4, the divers have relied on each other to persevere through these final few intense weeks of the season.
Peng said, “During practice the past couple of days before the meet, things were kind of rocky. The whole thought of Easterns this weekend made [Coach Belinda Wolf] kind of stressed, and we were all kind of stressed, but now we are really coming together.”
He continued, “The girls did very well, placing first, second, and third, and would have gotten fourth, as three competitive divers [are scored]. I think the boys were good, and Hopkins put up a really good meet.”
Last Saturday’s meet was Andover’s last in its home pool as well as its last meet before it begins its championship season this week.
“The last home meet of the season went really well and felt memorable to me. Everybody looked excited to race one last time at our home pool before racing at Easterns and [New England Championships], especially our Seniors, so our energy was bright and enthusiastic and certainly not lacking,” wrote Anthony Minickiello ’20 in an email to The Phillipian.
The team is now turning its focus toward preparing for Eastern Championships in Pennsylvania. As the team reaches the culmination of its season, training is specialized for each swimmer’s main events, according to Su.
“This meet was our last ‘rehearsal’ before our big championship meet, so we just had to practice getting ready to race and being able to do well no matter what before our big champ meet,” said Su.
In addition, the team has been tapering their practices in order to rest before the competition.
Minickiello wrote, “Since the last meet, the team has swum less yardage but at faster speeds to prepare for the intense nature of Championship meets. At meets like Easterns and [New England] Champs, swimmers are either racing their hearts out or cooling down and swimming very slowly. That pattern continues for the entirety of a multi-day meet. The body cannot properly handle this demanding stress until it is rested, so swimming less will give the body ample opportunity to recover.”
The team will swim in preliminary heats on Friday and Saturday morning and compete in finals later during the day. The Easterns meet invites competition from some of the top preparatory high schools in the country.
Su said, “I’m really excited for this weekend. I think this year we have a really good team, and we have a good chance of doing well this week at Easterns.”