Struggling to make up for the graduation of last year’s Seniors, Andover Girls Swimming fell short in its season opener this weekend against Suffield and Peddie.
The team consists of very few returners and suffered from a lack of practice time compared to its opponents.
Suffield and Peddie are also some of the strongest competition Andover will face all season.
“It is very early in our season…. Losing this early in the season will only help to motivate us and keep us focused,” wrote Qiqi Ren ’15 in an email to The Phillipian.
Co-Captain Elizabeth Duserick ’16 added in an email to The Phillipian, “I hope that our loss on Saturday pushed the team to work hard right from the beginning of the season so that we’ll be ready when we meet Suffield again at New England’s.”
Andover’s 200-Yard Medley opened the meet with a time of 1:55.13 to place fourth. The relay consisted of Allyson Ty ’18 swimming backstroke with a 27.56 split, Yifei Wu ’18 swimming breaststroke with a 33.45 split, Katherine Sweetser ’17 swimming butterfly with a 27.44 split and Duserick swimming freestyle the final leg with a 26.68 split.
The relay team of Duserick, Jessica Gearan ’18, Sweetser and Miranda An ’15 finished in fourth place in the 200-Yard Freestyle relay with a time of 1:47.67.
In the 100-Yard Butterfly, Sweetser finished in second with a time of 1:01.16.
Ty swam the 50-Yard Freestyle in 24.98, landing her in third place behind two swimmers from Peddie. Ty also competed in the 100-Yard Backstroke to finish second with a time of 59.54.
“From my [swimming,] I can tell that I need to train more and improve on my stroke technique. I am so grateful for the experience I was able to have at the meet. It was one of the first real team bonding moments,” Ty wrote in an email to The Phillipian.
She continued, “As a [Junior] I feel very welcomed by the team. I have made a lot of new friends from the team. The older swimmers are very supportive and encouraging. When I swim, they cheer me on and help me think on the positive side of things. They always bring so much spirit when we practice and when we meet as a team for an event.”
Despite opening the season with a loss, Andover hopes to avenge its second place finish last year at New England’s with a title this year as New England Champions.
Ren wrote, “Our most obvious end of the season goal is to win New England’s. It has been several years since Andover Girls Swimming has managed this, but since we have so many strong newcomers, we have a good chance.”
Andover will look to win its first meet of the season on January 10 against Choate.