In the first event of the first finals session of the Easterns Championships, Co-Captain Emma Donchi ’18, Yifei Wu ’18, Co-Captain Allyson Ty ’18, and Co-Captain Jess Gearan ’18 smashed the school record in the 200-Yard Medley Relay in a time of 1:47.57 minutes, compared to the old mark of 1:48.32 minutes, to lead the Andover Girls Swimming & Diving into a fourth place finish.
Donchi said, “Breaking the school record in the 200-medley relay was an awesome feeling, especially because I was able to do it with three fellow seniors. The previous record was held by four girls from the class of 2014, so it was exciting that we were able to break it with four girls from the class of 2018.”
The Easterns Championships is one of the nation’s fastest high school championship swim meets. Every year since 1935, prestigious preparatory high schools participate and compete. This year, over 30 schools participated, making it one of the most competitive high school meets in the United States. According to Ty, the competitiveness of this meet motivated the team to swim even harder and faster.
Ty said, “One of my favorite parts of the meet was having the chance to compete against so many fast swimmers. A lot of teams participated in the meet and seeing how close my times were with other swimmers’ times really pushed me to race faster. The atmosphere on the deck was also so exciting. You could hear every team cheer on their swimmers with so much energy. There was so much hype, and that really helped me get pumped for my races.”
Easterns was split into four sessions, with a preliminary session in the morning and a finals session in the afternoon, which featured the top 24 swimmers from the preliminary session and was split into an A, B, and C final.
Andover showed much success throughout all four sessions. Out of 43 individual and relay events, 42 were season bests and twenty-nine were personal bests.
All three of Andover’s relays, the 200-yard medley relay, 200- yard free relay, and 400-yard free relay, made it into the A final. On the first day, Andover had nine finalists going into the finals session, three of whom were A-finalists. The girls continued to swim hard with 11 finalists on the second day, with two in the A-final.
A-finalists for Andover included Donchi, Gearan, Ty, Elizabeth Tran ’19, and Grace Hitchcock ’20.
The diving had preliminary and final sessions. All four of Andover’s divers, Reese Pelletier ’20, Claire Davis ’20, Ora Cullen ’19, and Emelie Eldracher ’18 made it into finals placing third, seventh, tenth, and 12th respectively. Together, the diver’s scored a total 82 points for Andover, the second most out of any team.
The Girls Swimming and Diving team placed fourth out of thirty teams.
This weekend, Andover will face off against long-time rival Phillips Exeter Academy at Exeter. The team will return to Exeter the following weekend for the Nepsac Championships. Andover is currently undefeated within the Nepsac league, and looks to secure its first undefeated league dual meet record since 2013.
According to Grace Hitchcock ’20, the team will be working harder to finish the season off stronger than ever.
Hitchcock said, “We’ll be working hard for the next couple of days, hoping to top off the season with a few more tough workouts before we rest a bit before Exeter and through Nepsac. We’ve had a lot of great, intense practices throughout the season, so, we’re ready to focus on details and fine-tuning our races to perform our best in these last two meets.”