Boys Look Ahead to Interschols; Swimming Hopes to Take Title

After last year’s devastating second place finish to Exeter at the New England Interscholastic Championship meet, returning Boys Varsity Swimming and Diving Team members and newcomers alike are united under one goal: to bring home the win. Tonight, the Andover team will travel to Deerfield where Interschols will take place the following day. “We’ve been really training for Interschols the whole season. Winning this meet has been our team’s goal since the beginning,” Larry Zhou ’09 said. Kevin Zhai ’08 agreed, “I think we have a good chance of taking home the gold this year. Especially after beating Exeter by such a wide margin in the dual meet, I think this may be the year for us to put up a banner.” Interschols is formatted differently than all the other meets of the season. In the morning, prelims take place. Each of the 34 teams can have up to four swimmers compete in each event. The athletes with the top 16 times that morning (in each event) then swim the event again at night during finals to score points. In between prelims and finals, the diving prelims are held. Every diver performs five dives. The participants with scores in the top half then execute three more. Finally, the field is cut in half again and at finals the remaining divers perform for the last three times. Overall places are determined by point totals from all three diving rounds. With each athlete under tremendous pressure, the diving session is usually tense and nerve-racking, an atmosphere in which Corey Psoinos ’07 performs best. After his second-place finish last year, it is expected that he will dominate once again. Despite the meet’s grueling format, Head Coach Jacques Hugon ’79 believes the team has great potential: “We have trained hard this term…and [we] hope the hard work will pay off this coming Saturday,” said Hugon. A strong Senior class featuring sprinters Bob Divers ’07, Co-Captain Ryan Ferguson ’07 and distance swimmer Co-Captain Howie Kalter ’07 combined with phenomenal new members to the team, including backstroke star Brendon Deveney ’09, breaststroker Curtis Hon ’10 and distance swimmer Connor McAuliffe ’10, have created a team with more talent and depth than Andover has seen in many years. Besides securing places in the top eight in the individual events, the team expects to capitalize on the relays. “From past results of other meets this season, our major competition will be, as expected, Exeter. Some star swimmers will stand out at other schools, but our foremost opposition will be from Exeter,” Zhou explained. Defending New England Champions for the past seven years, Exeter is a force to be reckoned with. But so is Andover. Using its strength and speed, Co-Captain Ferguson believes that “we have a chance to be the first Championship-winning team from Andover in the league’s 43-year history.” Zhou concluded, “Everyone is trying to stay focused and healthy for this meet. Hopefully, our season of hard work will be rewarded with a win.”