**David Onabanjo ’18:**
David Onabanjo ’18 will be an impact sprinter for Boys Track this season.
“I can’t tell what event I’m best at yet. I’m still trying to learn what I can about track, but I do look forward to finding out for myself in the future,” Onabanjo wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “Before Andover, the racing I had done was ‘first one down the block gets a dollar’ and things like that. Indoor track, however, taught me that running is more than moving your legs and hoping they run fast, but there is a lot of technique and strategy and preparations before a race and a lot to learn.”
Onabanjo added, “I can’t promise particular places on the scoreboard, but I can say that every second [I’m] on the track [during] meets, my goal is to pass the person in front of me and get my own best time. Whether that means third, second or whatever place, I can say that you can expect me to run faster than I’ve run before.”
**Krystiana Swain ’18:**
Although she is currently injured, Kristiana Swain ’18 looks to dominate the 1500-Meter race upon her return to Girls Track. “I ran a 1500 for the first time in 5:17,” Swain wrote in an email to The Phillipian. “Training all winter made me fall in love with running. This season I may have a small injury, but injured or not, everyone can bet that I will be doing everything I can to support the team, whether it’s giving everything on the track or being the biggest cheerleader.”
When asked about two of his runners, David Onabanjo ’18 and Swain, Head Coach Corbin Lang wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “It’s been so great watching [Swain] and [Onabanjo] run. They take each day one at a time and are learning new ways to become faster. They also have an infectious attitude that makes everyone around them smile. It’s fun having them on our team.”
**Rebecca Radebold ’18:**
Although she has never played water polo before, Rebecca Radebold’s ’18 speed, natural skill and athleticism will surely make a splash on Andover Girls Water Polo this season.
Radebold, a Connecticut native, was a member of the Girls Varsity Swim team during Winter Term, and the speed and strength she learned on this team is expected to translate to success in the pool in a different setting. Although she is new to the sport, Head Coach Dan O’Shea sees great promise in her ability.
O’Shea said, “[Radebold] has really impressed me with her strength and athleticism right out of the gate. She is picking up a lot of skills very quickly and she is doing a good job learning the rules and regulations of the sport.”
In an email to The Phillipian, Radebold wrote, “Because I’ve never played before, I’m looking forward to exploring this new sport and really pushing myself to my limits.”
**Dariya Zhumashova ’17:**
The former top-ranked girls’ tennis player in Kazakhstan, Dariya Zhumashova ’17, has spent the last five years living with her grandparents in Monaco pursuing her passion for tennis.
Before arriving to Andover as a new Lower, her usual routine consisted of practicing six hours a day, including two hours of physical training.
Zhumashova relies on her powerful serve and fearless attitude in matches. Zhumashova prefers playing offensively near the net instead of staying at the baseline, and she often finishes points with decisive volleys.
“I’m more of an attacker. I have a strong serve, and I like to go to the net,” said Zhumashova.
Although she was hit by a car during her first week of school and is still temporarily recovering from her ankle injury, Zhumashova will make an impact on Andover Girls Tennis this season.
**Alexa Tsay ’17:**
Two-year Lower Alexa Tsay ’17 has excelled in competitive golf from a young age. Once Top Five South California Professional Golf Association Jr. Tour player, she now plays in the Toyota Tour Cup circuit.
Tsay relies on a prolific short game and precisely placed iron shots.
“I love playing with Alexa, because she is just so consistent. Whenever she’s putting within 15 feet you can pretty much assume she’s going to make it. It’s a huge blessing to have a player you can count on like that on your team in partner matches,” said veteran teammate Ellie Blum ’15.
Regardless, she excelled throughout her first season at Andover, earning the Managan Cup, given annually to the Andover Golfer who achieves the lowest scores in tri-meets with Phillips Exeter Academy and Governor’s.
**Jonathan Jow ’16**
Ever since joining the team as a new Lower last season, Jonathan Jow ’16 has been one of the most consistent contributors on Andover Boys Tennis. Jow was sixth seed his first year, but has since moved up to fourth seed this season.
Jow has flourished at Andover, despite the long break he had to take from tennis when he injured his shoulder in eighth grade. Jow’s teammates admire his patient, steadfast playing style. His cool collectedness has won the team many vital points in the past.
No matter the circumstances, Jow always gives 100 percent in order to help secure the victory for Andover. Co-Captain Michael Huang ’15 said, “He may not look like it, but he puts out the most effort out of anyone on the team. He’s played through cramps, stomach aches and even temporary blindness at one point.”
Jow and Boys Tennis will travel to Taft on Saturday.
**Evan Park ’18:**
Unexpected volleyball standout Evan Park ’18 is determined to make his mark on Andover Boys Volleyball for his debut season.
Park played on a club team for two years prior to earning a spot on the team at Andover.
Coach Clyfe Beckwith wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “His strengths are experience at the position of setter [and] smooth motion delivering reliable and predictable sets… The whole team is impressed at the level [of expertise] he has already shown; he’s learning quickly and eagerly. We are working on Park’s transition from defense to offense, given that play happens faster than he’s used to; he needs to plant his feet and square up to the net before starting his set.”
Park is ready to face any challenges on the court and hopes to help Andover win matches this year.
**Gabe Blanchard ’16:**
Gabe Blanchard ’16 started rowing for Andover Boys Crew in his Junior year and has been one of the team’s fastest improving rowers for the last two years. Although he did not know what to expect from the sport, Blanchard was hooked from day one.
He grew more interested in crew as he spent more time on the water during his Junior Spring on Andover’s novice-level B6. He returned again as a Lower on B4.
This year, Blanchard dedicated his Winter Term to the ergometer rowing machine. As a result, he improved his strength and cardio in the offseason and felt ready to go on the water in the Spring Term.
“Gabe has a great work ethic. He spent the last two seasons on non-Varsity boats, but I think all his hard work will pay off this season. He is a good oarsman who I think could really help the team,” said three-year Varsity rower Nick Faulkner ’16.
**Courtney Erickson ’15:**
After dominating on the Andover Girls Basketball team, Post-Graduate Courtney Erickson ’15 has translated her Winter Term success onto the softball field.
Head Coach Peter Drench moved Erickson to the fourth spot in the batting order because of her powerful left-handed hitting. Erickson will hit cleanup.
Drench wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “At shortstop, [Erickson] has blended in quickly with third baseman Victoria Bergeron [’16] and second baseman Colby Beré [’18] to form the core of a promising infield defense. She has a strong arm and is agile and fearless.”
During preseason and training, Erickson has proved herself to be a leader on the field and a supportive teammate.
Erickson said, “I’ve been playing since I was a little kid, so this season will be about refining my skills. I’m excited to get to play alongside some awesome teammates.”
**Jake Nelson ’15:**
Post-Graduate Jake Nelson ’15 will join Andover Baseball’s star-studded pitching rotation this season in hopes of assisting the team in its quest for the Central New England Prep Baseball (NEPSAC) title. Nelson, 6’3” and 210 pounds, consistently throws nearly 90 miles per hour.
Although Nelson shows the fluidity and poise of an experienced veteran on the mound, his road to success as a pitcher started a mere year and a half ago at a baseball camp hosted by the University of Connecticut. Then a catcher, Nelson was encouraged to try pitching for a change. The advice paid off for the Hopkinton, NH., native, who now finds himself as a top New England prospect in the upcoming MLB draft.
“The goals for us this season are fairly simple in that we have our sights set on winning a NEPSAC championship. It’s as simple as that,” said Nelson. “We are going to do everything we can to win.”