PA Girls Swimming Takes Freestyle; As Team Takes Down Loomis 111-75

In a meet against Loomis this Saturday, Freshman Salena Casha ’09 defeated one of Loomis’s top swimmers and Co-Captain in an incredibly close race, securing a personal best, and helping to carry the Andover Girls Varsity Swim team to their second win of the season with an impressive final score of 111 to 75. Loomis took a strong start and an early lead in the first race of the meet, the 200 Medley Relay, leaving Andover to take second, third, and fourth place. Andover retaliated in the next event, the 200 Freestyle. Captain Katie Faulkner ’06 finished in first place, followed by new Upper Sisi Ruan ’07. Ruan managed to stay a few milliseconds ahead of her opponent throughout the entire race and slid in for a close second place finish. In the most intense match-up of the meet, Casha went head to head with Loomis Co-Captain Melissa White ’06, one of the most talented swimmers in the league, in the 200 Individual Medley. Barely in the lead after the first 50 yards of Butterfly, Casha struggled to keep up with White, who blasted ahead in Backstroke. Unrelenting, Casha fervently gave chase, pulling up right behind her adversary at the end of the Breaststroke. With roaring spectators leaping to their feet, Casha soared through the water, out-touching White by 0.02 seconds with a personal best time of 2:14.40 to take first place. Andover continued its rampage when Erika Roddy ’07 raced past all opposition in the 50 Freestyle to secure another first place finish. Unstoppable divers Rachel Reinauer ’07, Liz Finnegan ’06, and Justine Paradis ’08 took the top three places by a good margin. Andover destroyed Loomis in the 100 Freestyle with Ruan and Roddy taking first and second place, speeding ahead of their competition early and finishing two full seconds ahead of their opposition. In the 500 Freestyle, Captain Faulkner finished first with a time of 5:27.75, an incredible nine seconds faster than her season best and touching the wall more than five seconds ahead of everyone else. Andover continued to dominate into the 200 Free Relay, with a team of Ruan, Captain Faulkner, Alyssa Hill ’06, and Roddy finishing more than a second ahead of Loomis in first place. Loomis took first in the 100 Backstroke, but was countered by Casha easily placing first in the 100 Breastroke with another personal best. Ella Kidron ’08 finished third with a season-best time of 1:15.10. Andover ended strong with the 400 Freestyle Relay. The team of Ruan, Captain Faulkner, Casha, and Roddy completely smoked Loomis by more than five seconds.