This past weekend, the Andover Boys Crew team emerged victorious, winning the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association Championships team title for the second year in a row. Every year, crews from all across New England come to race on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, MA. Rivals such as Phillips Exeter Academy and the Kent School were present. This year, Andover’s first boat was seeded third going into the regatta, due to losses to both Exeter and Kent at the beginning of the season. Yet, this did nothing to deter the resolve of the boat. In order to qualify for Grand Finals, the crews had to compete in preliminary heats and finish in the top two. During the morning race, Andover easily qualified, winning its heat. At one point they even brought the rating down to 26 strokes per minute. After several hours of rest, the first boat launched the boat to prepare for Grand Finals. Captain Chip Schroeder ’08, said, “Off the start Andover and Exeter pulled ahead. From there it was a fight to the finish.” After the first 500 meters, Exeter had a lead of several seats over Andover. Then in the middle 500 meters, Andover took a move and started walking. Exeter responded and took a counter-move around the 800-meter mark. Going into the last 500 meters, Andover sprinted, striving for victory. Yet its hopes were dashed as Exeter’s physically powerful boat fended them off, winning by a small margin of 1.7 seconds. The first boat completed its season with an impressive record of 17-4. Ian Accomando ’08 commented on the race, “We gave it our best effort. I wish it had turned out differently, but I’m proud of my last season with Andover Crew and I’m proud of what we accomplished by winning the team trophy.” In the second boat, Andover was again not the number one seed due to a loss to the Kent during the first race of the season. Conor McKinnon ’08, said, “Going into the race we had the advantage of not having as much pressure being seeded second.” Similarly to the first boat, the second boat won its heat, easily qualifying for the grand finals. Off the start Andover took a quick lead over the field. Throughout the race, Kent repeatedly tried to overtake Andover, but Andover was able to hold off by smart counter-moves made by the Andover coxswain, Kathryn Quijano ’08. At one point Andover was only up by two seats, but when the two boats reached the last 500 meters, Andover sprinted, winning the race by over three seconds. After the race, Hanson Causbie ’08, said, “This was the best possible way I could have finished my four years of rowing at Andover.” Steven Lee-Kramer ’09 shared similar sentiments. “All the hard work we did for the past eight weeks culminated in that race. As we crossed the finish line I exploded with happiness and tears rolled down my face.” Despite a disappointing fourth place finish by the third boat, Andover won the Team Trophy for the second year in a row, proving itself to be the fastest crew in New England.