Andover Girls crew swept their races against Northfield Mount Hermon this past weekend, leaving the two Varsity boats with an undefeated regular season in their league. Having faced NMH earlier in the season at Lake Quinsigamond and defeating them by huge margins, Andover was surprised by how much NMH had improved. While none of the boats considered their race the best of the season, all look forward to the NEIRA Interscholastic Championships next weekend. In the first boat race, NMH held onto Andover longer than anyone expected. Coming off the starting line with a fast start, the girls settled to a base rating of 36 strokes per minute, considerably faster than their planned 34 spm. NMH kept up all the way to about the 750 meter mark, halfway through the race, until the Andover girls decided to take the race as theirs. Their final sprint was comparably weak however, which Captain Jessie Daigneault ’04 credits to having been worn out by the high rating. “That was a really important lesson for us to learn before Interschols,” said Daigneault. “Now we have been working in practice this week to maintain a 34 so that we have a really strong sprint left, which we didn’t have against NMH.” Andover still crossed the line well ahead at 5:29.2 with NMH behind them at 5:36.4. The G2 boat again beat its opposition by lengths of open water, something that has come to be expected of the boat. By the sprint, Andover had taken more than a boat length of open water, and continued to “kick it up for our usually powerful finish,” said Marcella Viktorin ’05. The girls finished with a time of 5:36.7 to NMH’s 5:54.2, a considerable lead, though nothing compared to the 50 seconds which Andover took over NMH at the Worcester Invitational at the beginning of the season. “While we did not row our best against NMH, it was still a solid piece, an we will be working on fixing mistakes for this weekend,” said seven-seat Kate Ireland ’05. The third boat had an incredibly close race with NMH, and had to work for their victory harder than they have all season. “I felt like our race was one of the few on Saturday where we really had to fight for it,” said Anne Sharp ’05. “It was such a close race that we couldn’t have given anything less than everything without losing.” Andover had a fast start, and took their slight lead from the beginning. In the last 500, Andover kept just inches ahead of NMH until the sprint, where they took the lead to three seats. Andover’s time was 5:52.0, beating NMH by just 1.3 seconds. As Jackie Latina ’04, stroke of G1, summed up the races, “NMH was better than expected and that freaked us out, although we all still won. We will be much more ready for Interschols. Andover G1 and G2 are both seeded first, which shows how great our season has been. It is going to take a lot of heart because we may not be the biggest crew, but we can and will do it.” With the last races of their regular season behind them now, the girls look forward to tomorrow as a chance for not just medaling but also winning.