Last Minute Lineup Changes Propel Andover to Win

Andover Girls’s Swimming came through in the clutch on Saturday against Hopkins, sweeping the final races to squeeze out a tight victory. At the halfway point, Coach Paul Murphy made last minute changes to the lineup in order to counter a surprisingly tough Hopkins lineup. Coach Murphy’s quick decision proved to be a vital one, as Andover won 100-83. The team traveled to Hopkins confident in its ability to hold up its undefeated record with another dominant win. Hopkins, however, surprised Andover with its depth and agility. Midway through the meet, the score was tied, and Hopkins had the momentum over a confused Andover team. Coach Murphy stepped in and made some critical last minute changes to the line-up, leaving his swimmers mere minutes to prepare mentally and physically for their next races. “We didn’t know what to expect from Hopkins, so Coach Murphy made a rough lineup that he changed throughout the meet to suit our competition. He called me over as the girls lined up for the 200 free, and asked me if I would be willing to hop in the race,” said Kristen Faulkner ’11. “I almost sprinted to the blocks as the referees put their hand up to start the race, but Mr. Murphy quickly changed his mind and held me back. Coach Murphy also placed Molly Levene ’12 in the 500 freestyle right before the race began. Everyone had to be flexible and ready to go at a moments notice.” Diving gave Andover a slight edge over Hopkins, as Kendall MacRae ’11, Whitney Glick ’11 and Captain Emily Johnson ’10 finished first, third and fifth, respectively. The 500 freestyle served as the turning point, as Faulkner separated from the pack and won with a huge lead, while Emily Carrolo ’13 took second and Levene finished fourth. The team continued its winning streak, taking first and second place in the 200 freestyle relay. Andover also dominated the 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke. In the 100 backstroke Lydia Azaret ’12 took first, Kerry Lanzo ’11 took third and Lucy Frey ’13 took fifth. Peyton Morss ’10 said, “What made the 100 backstroke an especially important event was that because of its first, third and fifth finishes, it enabled Andover reach the ‘magic number.’ Only 186 points can be earned in a dual meet, which means that once one team earns 94 (the magic number), it is impossible for the other team to win. Reaching that number was so exciting for us, because it had been a really stressful meet, and then we could just swim our best, and have fun during the rest of our second to last dual meet.” The 100 breaststroke secured the win for Andover, as it took second, third and fourth places. In fact, the final event, the 400 freestyle relay, was not even scored. The final score was 100 to 83. Andover will face off against archrival Exeter on February 24th.