A Combination of Proven Returners and Strong Newcomers Helps Boys Swimming Beat Choate

The Boys Varsity Swimming and Diving Team traveled to Wallingford, CT and defeated Choate Rosemary Hall 115-68 in its first dual meet of the season. Aided by its depth, Andover captured all three relays. Newcomers Brendan Deveney ’09 and Curtis Hon ’10 won two individual events each, helping to secure the team’s victory. Co-Captain Ryan Ferguson ‘07 expressed the team’s excitement: “We knew going into the day that Choate had some fast swimmers and that there would definitely be some close races. However, we stepped it up and swam a great meet. After this first meet, we certainly look like a force to be reckoned with this season and certainly a contender for the league championship.” Although swimming in a 25-meter pool as opposed to the standard 25-yard was a difficult adjustment, the team proved it was up to the challenge when the relay of Julian Azaret ’08, Dennis Jow ’07, Brendon Sullivan ’07 and Steven Lee-Kramer ’09 managed to out-touch Choate in the opening 200-meter Medley by three tenths of a second. Continuing to dominate, Andover secured the top three spots in the 200 Freestyle with Hon winning in 2:05.87, pursued by Scott McColl ’07 and Co-Captain Howie Kalter ’07. Touching the wall a body length ahead of the other swimmers, Deveney captured the 200 Individual Medley in 2:19.56. Team mate Kevin Zhai ’08 helped Andover control the event by finishing in 2:21.55 for second. After Lee-Kramer and Co-Captain Ferguson placed second (26.06) and third (26.11) respectively in the 50 Freestyle, Andover held a secure 42-20 lead going into the diving. All-American and New England second place diver Corey Psoinos ’07 performed beautifully, winning the diving event with 230.95 points, 15 points ahead of Choate’s best. Rebounding after diving, Choate won the 100 Freestyle and 100 Butterfly. Andover diminished its competitor’s streak with the 500 Freestyle, however, when Deveney and Connor McAuliffe ’10 placed first and second respectively in 5:40.47 and 5:40.95. Led by Azaret, the team took second, third and fourth in the 100 Backstroke. Hon then won his second event of the day, pulling ahead of the opposition by a third of a pool length in the 100 Breaststroke to finish in 1:08.28. Completing the meet in style, the team took first and second in the 400 Freestyle relay led by the winning squad of Deveney, Asa Harrington ’09, Co-Captain Ferguson and McAuliffe in 3:54.22. After triumphing over Choate’s powerful team, Deveney displayed the team’s delight: “At this point in the season, the coaches are really stressing the importance of technique and race strategy. Swimming relatively fast was an added benefit and the focus prior to and during races was impressive. It was exciting to see the intensity carry over from practice into the races. I think our prospects for this season are good, especially with the leadership of returning swimmers and the guidance of our coaches, augmented by some talent and an impressive group of hard working individuals.” Head Coach Jacques Hugon ’79 agreed, “I think the team looks strong going into the season. Choate is perennially a top contender in the league, so I thought we won convincingly. But we can’t get ahead of ourselves. We know Loomis will present a strong challenge in their own pool this coming Saturday, but our season is really aimed at the New England Championships, so each dual meet is hopefully just a stepping stone toward the season finale in early March.” This Saturday, the team will travel to Windsor, CT to take on Loomis Chaffee, one of the teams Andover will face this season.