The Girls Varsity swim team drove to Wallingford, CT on Saturday to begin their much-anticipated 2007 season. After two nearly undefeated seasons, the loss to Choate Rosemary Hall in their first dual meet was unexpected. The meet was nothing shy of a solid effort. The team refused to let the defeat bring its spirits down and as five-time reigning New England Champions, it agreed that though the loss was a surprise, it in no way reflected the plan to defend the title during the upcoming season. Captain Carly Villareal ‘07 reflects on the event: “Losing to a strong team like Choate is tough, especially when you’ve nearly been on a two-year winning streak. Now, though, we know what to expect, and when we see Choate again, we’ll be ready. This first meet has made us realize that we are going to have to fight a little harder this season, but I know we’re up for the challenge.” Though Andover didn’t win the first event, they comfortably took both second and third with the all lower relay of Veronica Faller ‘09, Salena Casha ‘09, Annie Glancy ‘09 and Stephanie Moroney ‘09 leading in 2:09.2. Then, the first of several close races was the 200 Freestyle where Captain Villareal out-touched a Choate competitor winning in 2:17.4. Though Choate managed to snatch the first place victory in the 200 Individual Medley, Casha ’09 managed to take second in 2:32.85 pursued by Glancy who took third in 2:37.35. This left the score tied until Erika Roddy ’07 and freshman Peyton Morss ’10 managed to pull the team ahead swimming the 50 Freestyle in 28.91 and 28.93 seconds, respectively. Coming out of diving, Glancy swam a solid event in 1:20.94 but was out-touched by a Choate competitor in the 100 Butterfly. However, Roddy in 1:03.4 and Morss in 1:04.04 again managed to take first and second in their 100 Freestyle, tightening up the score even further to 55-54. A usually dominant event for Andover, the 500 freestyle, was a tremendous surprise when Choate took first, second and third, making the score 68-57 going into the 200 Freestyle Relay. It is evident that the team had no intention of giving up when they went first and third in the event with the relay of Glancy, Morss, Captain Villareal, and Roddy winning in 1:58.65. With Faller finishing second in the 100 Backstroke (1:14.88) and Casha out-touching her competitor in the 100 Breastroke (1:19.24) it was clear that at 89-82 the result of the meet came down the last event. After some last minute scrambling of swimmers by Coach Paul Murphy in an effort to set the A and B relays even and attain the 1-2 finish Andover needed, the team set out for what was the end of a very close meet. The A relay consisted of Morss, Captain Villareal, Aubrey Zimmerling ’09, and Roddy while the B relay included Celia Lewis ’10, Abby Levene ’09, Casha, and Moroney. An amazing race between the two Andover relays and the top Choate relay resulted in the Choate team with a slim win in the relay and a win for the day. Coach Murphy said this about the event: “We had a strong start on Saturday. We have a bunch of new faces on the team and it was great to see us coming together so early in the season.” Though the loss was tough, no doubt is the Andover Girls’ Swimming and Diving team pumped to face another challenging season. The girls hope to get back on the winning track this weekend at Loomis.