Andover Boys Swimming dominated the New England Championships for the third straight year on Saturday in its 100th season. The team finished with 417 points and defeated Deerfield and Exeter by 57 and 103.5 points, respectively.
Jun Oh ’12 placed first in both the 200 and 500 Free. Oh will end his Andover Swimming career having never lost an individual event in a dual meet or New England’s. He earned All-American status in the 200 Free and broke a school record in the 500 Free with a time of 1:40.22.
The meet began with the 200 Medley Relay, in which the team of Co-Captain Derrick Choi ’12, Didi Peng ’12, Tim Wynter ’14 and Michael Camarda ’14 swam in 1:34 and placed second to Deerfield, a surprising finish for the usually dominant relay team.“We came into the meet knowing that Deerfield was going to have some great swims, and the relay happened to be one of them,” said Camarda. “I was disappointed that we didn’t win, but we went under our goal time, got All-American and broke our school record and the previous New England record by over a second.”
After the diving event, Andover trailed Deerfield by 22 points and needed to make a major comeback in order to win. Wynter responded by earning All-American with a second place finish and new school record in the 100 Butterfly.
Wynter proceeded to win the 100 Backstroke with a time of 50.06. In the meet’s preliminaries on Saturday morning preliminaries, Wynter had finished the same event in 49.06 to smash the previous New England record of 49.82.
Andover was able to celebrate its championship well before the meet’s end, as the team was up 50 points on Deerfield before the 400 Freestyle Relay and would have won even if it didn’t score in this final event. The team wanted to close the season on a high note, however, and Joe Faller ’14, Camarda, Oh and Wynter all entered the water firing on all cylinders.
While Exeter prevailed in the race, Andover’s time of 3:06.65, as well as Deerfield’s and Exeter’s times, broke the previous New England record of 3:08.34.
“As I got up on the blocks, I realized I was leading off against Joe Shepley [PEA ’14] and Austin Bridges [Deerfield ’13], two of the fastest 100 Freestylers I have ever met,” said Faller. “As we dove in, I literally gave my all and then pushed harder, as I’m sure my three teammates did. I was surprised to see as I got out of the pool that I had kept up with Austin, and even more surprised as I watched Michael Camarda dominate the Deerfield team, dropping almost a full second from the time he had swam earlier that same night.”
Faller continued, “After [Camarda], Oh took the stage for the final swim of his career and showed everyone why he was the best known and most feared swimmer on our team. After a blazing swim, Oh had almost caught us up to the Exeter team, whom we had been trailing by over two seconds from the beginning.”
“Just a few moments earlier, Tim [Wynter] had been practically out of commission, feeling horribly sick and cramping in both of his legs. He wasn’t about to let us down, though. Swimming faster than I thought possible, Tim fended off one of the top sprinters in the league from Deerfield and almost caught up to the Exeter team, finishing barely half a second after them,” said Faller.
Said Faller about the final race of the meet and the season, “Every single one of us gave it our all, and we walked back to our team with no regrets. We couldn’t have been prouder.”