It has been a long road back to the top for the Andover Boys Crew team. Four years ago the first boat won the New England Interscholastic Championship. Since then, the first boat failed to make the finals three years ago, placed second two years ago and again placed second last year, losing by a heartbreaking 0.18 seconds to Kent. As pre-season got going, Coach Peter Washburn used last year’s Championship loss as motivation for this year’s team. The boys hope to avenge this loss at the end of the season. And with five returnees to the first boat (Geoff Martin ’07, Rush Martin ’07, Andrew Faulkner ’07, Chip Schroeder ’08, and Parker Washburn ’09) and one PG, Colin Smith ’07, this year’s first boat has high hopes for the coming season. “This year will be no different than any other; we will be looking to win gold at New England’s,” says Martin. Martin continued, “Four Seniors have taken home silver twice now, including that crushing loss to Kent,” but this year Martin says, “the field will be super-competitive as always, but hopefully, we will finally be able to come out on top.” Even though the first boat is the big show, the second and third boats hope to build on where they left off last year. The strong depth of the team will serve the crew program well in the future as new talent fills the spots of graduating athletes. Both second and third boats placed third in their respective races at New England’s last year as Andover finished second in the team cup points. With a total of 10 returnees from the second and third boats and numerous improved rowers from the lower boats, the team as a whole has high hopes for this year. The first step to the team cup will be defeating now rival Kent on April 14. The first race day of the season is always a tough test for the Andover Boys Crew team. The first boat first races Kent for the Dent Oars, but will then race again against either Brookline or Lowell. The lower boat races will follow a similar schedule.