The Boys of Andover Swimming are back in the water this winter, hoping to race their way to a Prep Title. The Blue will host its first official meet against Choate at home on January 10. The team began practicing before Thanksgiving break, and the boys are anxious to hit the water and show off their skills. The boys are spending this season in anticipation of Interschols on March 7, when swimmers who have the best recorded times for each event are invited to attend and contend for all the glory. The team came off a strong 2003 season, finishing with a record of 8-1 in dual meets and placing 4th at Interschols. The only loss the boys suffered was a heartbreaker to the very talented Baracudas. However, after graduating seven seniors from last year’s solid team, this year is expected to be somewhat of a rebuilding season. Coach Jacques Hugon said of his team “We will continue competing with the better teams. This team [will probably] be less strong then last year, yet we will still be a presence in the league.” As captain for the 2004 season, Paull Randt ’04 leads the team both in and out of the pool. Randt swims freestyle sprints, excelling in the 50 and 100 yards, and also contributes to the team by swimming the butterfly. Although only a lower, Jeff Zhou ’06 is expected to carry the team in backstroke and sprint freestyle, along with captain Randt. Zhou said, “We definitely have depth this year. [We have] a lot of new juniors and lowers that hopefully will add to our rebuilding year.” Adding a bonus to this year’s rebuilding effort, more new members have joined the Andover swim team. Another asset to the team will be Robert Guwca ’04, expected to become a top-scoring leader. Mainly a breaststroke swimmer, he will also be a strong in the fly. Despite his age, Andrew Faulkner ’07 has emerged as another excellent swimmer. “It feels great to be back in the water, especially with this group of guys who have so much talent,” Faulkner expressed. “I feel I will grow and improve a lot with Andover swimming. I don’t doubt that Jacque and the rest of the team will help me grow and achieve [my goals].” Overall, this season will hopefully be a successful one for the Andover Boys Varsity Swim team. With the contributing efforts of swimmers like Randt and Zhou, the team is capable of performing well even during a supposed “rebuilding year.” As Aaron Stroble ’04 confidently put it, “We have some awesome returning talent and a bunch of new guys, too. I’m really excited about the team this season. We will certainly be putting on an amazing show at dual meets this year.”
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