Lady Blue Swimming Races By Loomis in Dominating Victory

For the Girls Varsity Swimming Team, this was just one more win. The Loomis Pelicans were no match for the Lady Blue on Saturday who continued their winning streak with a final score of 112-74. The girls continue to leave their competition stunned, race after race, meet after meet. Kelly Chang ’07 describes the meet by saying, “We swam well at the beginning, but we really pulled through in the 100 free and 100 fly to make the meet a true success.” The girls snagged first place in 10 out of 12 events, and took many second and third spots in numerous events. Erika Roddy ’07, Laura Benca ’05 and Emily Brenner ’06 got first, second, and third place in the 100-yard free style. This 1-2-3 victory put the girls on top. Hee-jin Chang ’05 and Alex Doty ’05 owned the 100 fly, sniping first and second place. Though it’s been quite a while since Chang and Doty swam side by side, Chang had only positive feelings about the race, saying “I haven’t raced Alex Doty since I was 12 so the 100 fly scared me a lot. Alex is a very supportive teammate, and rather than making me nervous, racing next to her made me feel like I was 12 again.” Katie Faulkner ‘06 also pulled through in this event, swimming it for the first time in her Andover career. In yet another triumph; Faulkner and H. Chang held their own in the 200-yard free style, touching in one after another. Alyssa Hill ’06 comments saying “The 100 fly where we went 1-2-4 followed by the 100 free where we went 1-2-3 showed how much depth we have as a team.” Team Captain Kate Page ’04 captured the 500-yard free style, touching in 11 seconds before her closest opponent. Alex Doty ’05 was impressed by her Captain’s performance saying “Kate looked really strong through her entire 500.” Newcomers Liz Slaughter ’06 and Caroline Villareal ’07 also swam the 500, demonstrating their speed and endurance. Page comments on the amount of new distance swimmers the team has saying, “I’ve been swimming the 500 since I was a freshman, and never have I had such freedom from not swimming it in meets. We have a great group of distance girls with a lot of talent, and I look forward to bettering my own time with their support and enthusiasm.” The Big Blue took yet another first place victory in the 200-yard free relay with the help of Emily Brenner ’06, Katie Faulkner ’06, Alyssa Hill ’06, and Hee-jin Chang ’05. With Hill in lane three for the first time, Doty says, “Alyssa did really well, I was so proud of her!” Doty has plenty to be proud of herself, pulling in first place in the 100-yard backstroke. Behind her was Laura Benca, swimming the event for the first time, and proving to her coach and teammates that she has the potential to become an even better backstroker. The team’s three divers added to the success of the meet. Jacqui Leboutillier ’04 and Liz Finnegan ’06, the team’s two returning divers, dove well, impressing not only the silent fans, but also the judges. However Coach Belinda Wolf was particularly impressed with the performance of the team’s newest addition, Rachel Reinauer ’07, saying, “Rachel did very well and we expect the entire team to continue to succeed in upcoming meets against NMH and Deerfield.” Obviously, the meet was a real triumph for the girls. Page has only positive things to say about the team, “With just two meets behind us I think we’re coming together really well as a team. Practices have been getting harder and everyone has been stepping up to the challenge and performing in meets. Mostly, I think we have a lot of fun together with our ridiculous antics in and out of the pool, especially imitating seals for our newest cheer. This team unity is an integral part of our team’s success for the past three years and the beginning of this season.” Even though the upcoming meets could prove to be a challenge, the girl’s coach, Paul Murphy, has high hopes for the remainder of the season. “The meet on Saturday was a great one. We are still right at the beginning of out season, but our times are fast and the team is strong. Daily work will be the key to this season!”