Marking the perfect end to a perfect season, the Andover Girls Swim Team went into Interschols undefeated and left as League Champions for a consecutive year. A fierce competitor all season, Hee-jin Chang ’05 continued her dominating swimming at ‘Schols, as she took home the Outstanding Swimmer award for the second year in a row. Chang is only the second swimmer to be presented with this award twice, and the only athlete ever to win the honors two years in a row. Chang’s 200 freestyle swim highlighted the day. Although she was the first seed in the event with a time of 1:53.47, Chang had her work cut out for her. The event’s second seed was Winsor’s young standout Sarah Ernst ’07, who clocked in a 1:54.70 in the morning. The Korean Olympian did not worry, as she clocked a time of 1:51.85. Chang not only won the event by a mile, but also shattered the New England record. Since 1987, when Anne Hardy of Choate set the mark, swimmers across New England had peered at the time and marveled. Now, they will gaze at Chang’s name and time. Chang’s times last weekend were fast, even by her high standards. For her efforts, the crowd in attendance rewarded the lower with a standing ovation. Chang’s day hardly ended with her work in the record setting 200 freestyle. She also led the winning 200 freestyle relay. Captain Sarah Demers ’03, Tracey Zicherman ’03, and Margaret Ramsey ’03 all swam legs in the winning relay. With a fast Hopkins team trailing them closely, the girls managed to pull through with a victory, touching in at 1:40.00 and setting a new school record. The 200 freestyle relay was not the only record-breaking relay of the day, however. The 200-medley relay of Alex Doty ’05, Captain Demers, Liz Demers ’05, and Zicherman powered past the competition to finish with a time of 1:51.82, breaking the Deerfield pool record. Swimming anchor for the relay, Zicherman sealed the victory, recording a personal best split of 25.19. The girls quickly took the lead and never looked back. Following the 200-medley relay was Chang’s record-breaking 200 freestyle. Equally impressive is the fact that the Big Blue managed to qualify three of their swimmers for the final heat. Following Chang ’05 were Ramsey and Katie Faulkner ’06 who finished third and seventh, respectively. The distance swimmers turned in some of the top performances of the day. Freshman star Faulkner, well rested after the late season taper, swam even faster than she had earlier in the season. After a seventh place finish in the 200, Faulkner swam to fifth place in the 500 freestyle. Faulkner, who clocked in at time of 5:14.74, fell to a pair of Hopkins swimmers, neither of whom swam more than half a second faster than she. Teammate Kate Page ’04 followed suit, finishing seventh with a final time of 5:20.53. Freestyle was not the only stroke that the Big Blue dominated in. Flyer and backstroker Doty celebrated the best day of her young swimming career, winning the 100 butterfly and finishing second in the 100 backstroke. The final heat of the 100 butterfly lit up the pool with electricity. Any of the top three seeds, Choate’s Kendall Dacey ’06, Deerfield’s Co-captain Liz Berger ’03 or Andover’s Doty, could have taken the race. In the end, however, Doty wanted it the most and came through for the girls. After the first two laps, Doty held second, behind Berger, and the Blue fans grew worried. In the third lap, however, Doty pulled ahead, keeping her lead for the remainder of the race to finish with a lifetime best of 58.71. Doty followed her stellar win with a second place finish in the 100 backstroke. Touching in at a time of 1:00.13, Doty swam to another personal best; in fact, Doty recorded her fastest time by over half a second. Andover, dominating the meet at all distances, also finished well in the diving, with three divers finishing in the top sixteen. Captain Janis Scanlon ’03 closed out her four-year varsity career with a third place finish and a final score of 352.60. Scanlon will be missed by both her diving and swimming teammates, having left quite a legacy behind. Jacqueline LeBoutillier ’04 and Junior standout Liz Finnegan ’06 followed, finishing 11th and 12th, respectively. With three years left, Finnegan will look to be a driving force for the Lady Blue in the coming seasons. With the Hopkins School, the Big Blue’s biggest competition and the runner-ups at Interschols, failing to qualify any divers in the scoring finals, Andover gained a substantial lead after diving. No event frustrated the girls more than the 100 freestyle. The touch pad scoring system did not register Senior Boo Littlefield’s finish. As a result of the technical problems, Littlefield did not receive an official time or place. For Captain Demers, this final meet was the perfect way to end her successful four-year varsity career. Demers was pleased with, not only her own performance, but also the way the team swam, saying, “You could not ask for a better end to an undefeated season. It’s sad to think that this was my last meet with Andover but what a way to go out.” Last weekend’s Interschols marked the end of an era. The team will graduate ten seniors with the class of 2003. The 2004 season will be a rebuilding one for PA, but the Lady Blue plan to step it up and defend their title.
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