Boys Swimming Falls to St. John’s Prep 92-76; Endures First Loss in a Dual Meet in Two Years

Surging ahead of the field, Brendan Deveney ’09 swam phenomenally to win the 200 Individual Medley last Friday night. Despite his impressive performance, Andover narrowly fell to defending State Champions St. John’s Prep 92-76. Swimming against its non-league competitor for the first time, Andover rose to the challenge and fought valiantly. Although the team recorded its first loss in two years, the meet displayed many close and exciting races. Curtis Hon ’10 said, “We knew St. John’s Prep would be our toughest competitor, seeing that they are the State Champions, but we thought we could give them a run for their money.” He continued, “Practices have been very hard, and [their] effect on us showed at this meet. Many of the races came down to the last yard and resulted in St. John’s out-touching us, or vise versa.” The first event revealed exactly how closely-fought each race would be, as the St. John’s squad out-touched Andover’s Steven Lee-Kramer ’09, Hon, Brendon Sullivan ’07 and Co-Captain Ryan Ferguson ’07 by two-tenths of a second in the 200 yard Medley Relay. For the first six laps of the 200 Freestyle, Bob Divers 07 vied for the lead with St. John’s Jamie Mannion and Jeff Fiore. In the final 50 yards, Mannion succeeded in pulling away. Refusing to give up, Divers managed to beat Fiore to the wall for second in 1:48.65. Co-Captain Howie Kalter also finished strong, capturing fourth in 1:52.26. Andover retaliated in the 200 Individual Medley when Deveney crushed the competition in 2:02.14, a season’s best time. Kevin Zhai ’08 and Scott McColl ’07 finished hard into the wall, succeeding in out-touching St. John’s third swimmer for third and fourth. In a whirlwind of arms, Co-Captain Ferguson and Hon nicked second and third in the 50 Freestyle with times of 23.25 and 23.26 respectively, leaving Andover marginally down 29-33 at the break. The 100 Butterfly proved a pivotal point in the meet when St. John’s narrowly swept the event. Andover fought hard, however, and all six swimmers touched the wall within a two- second spread. In another extremely close race, Divers boosted the team’s spirit by capturing the 100 Freestyle in 50.18, one tenth of St. John’s fastest competitor. Co-Captains Kalter and Ferguson added to Andover’s comeback by taking fourth and fifth. Conor McAuliffe ’10 swam beautifully in the 500 Freestyle to secure second in 5:02.24. The 200 Freestyle Relay exhibited yet another nail-biting event with the team of Hon, Co-Captains Ferguson and Kalter and Divers scarcely beaten to the finish. Recording his second season’s best time of the evening, Deveney took second in the 100 Backstroke in 56.07, a mere seven-tenths behind Tyler Lareau of St. John’s. Hon ended the individual events on a strong note by winning the 100 Breaststroke in with a time of 1:02.91. Scott McColl ’07, Deveney, Co-Captain Kalter and Divers completed the meet in a conquering fashion, scoring a win in the 400 Freestyle relay in a season’s best time of 3:21.64. Although disappointed over the loss, the team refuses to disregard its ultimate goal. As Hon explained, “St. John’s championship meet is earlier than ours and thus they have already begun tapering. We don’t start until after our next meet. After tapering I think we will all be ready to swim fast races at Interschols and hopefully bring home the gold.” With just two meets left in the regular season, the team looks to bounce back from this loss and end the season on a winning note. With Interschols only a few weeks away, Andover looks to peak as it anticipates the challenging competition with its various rival schools. The success the team has earned this season will carry it into these last meets, as it faces a tough Williston team this Saturday before taking on Exeter next week.