On Saturday, Andover Boys Crew raced St. Paul’s and Community Rowing, Inc. (CRI) in a dual meet on Andover’s home course and swept the competition across all three boats.
With the sunny weather, a home course advantage and a large crowd of family and friends cheering on the finish line, Andover crew arrived at the William H. Brown Boathouse beaming with confidence for a good race ahead.
“We went to the starting line fully believing that we were going to win. It was a very tough race against CRI, but for the entire race I just felt that we had all the grit and all the tenacity we needed to make it happen. It’s not a feeling I’ve had before, but CRI is fast, and we put a lot on the the line to beat them. Every Saturday we race harder than the last,” said Co-Captain Marc Sevastopoulo ’15.
Before the races began, St. Paul’s and Andover were brought together by a heartwarming boat dedication to former Andover Coach and current St. Paul’s Coach Kathryn Lucier Green to ease the tension of the rivalry.
B3 then kicked off the races with coxswain Laurel Wain ’17 leading a Varsity crew for the first time this season. In the stern pair was Simon Sharp ’15 and John Little ’15 as the leading rowers, in front of Paul Kinard ’15, Colby Lapointe ’16, Jake Herman ’15, Isaac Pierce ’16, Luke Bitler ’17 and Nathan Cruz ’18 in the bow seat.
Andover’s B3 crew sped to the finish line first in 5:04.2, beating out CRI’s time of 5:08.9 decisively. These two leading crews held open water in front of St. Paul’s who finished in 5:22.0.
Andover’s B2 was led by coxswain Christina Schoeller ’16 with Diego Blandon ’15 and Aidan Driscoll ’17 in the stern pair. Behind them was Tora Liu ’16, William Humphrey ’16, Alex Cao ’16, Carter Page ’15, Tyler Lian ’16 and Miles Neumann ’15 in the bow.
Andover again finished first in 4:58.0. St. Paul’s was next in 5:00.4 with CRI right on its tail in 5:00.5.
After the two victories, the pressure was high for B1 to complete a sweep. Coxswain Jacob Kozul ’15 led the crew with Robert Irvin ’15 in the stroke seat. Next was Sevastopoulo, Co-Captain Benjamin Hawley ’15, Dylan Norris ’16, Jack Lane ’15, Nick Faulkner ’16 and Gabe Blanchard ’16.
Andover and CRI fought neck and neck all the way through the finish line. Andover glided across the finish line in 4:45.7, edging out CRI with a time of 4:47.8. St. Paul’s finished third in 4:58.9.
The team was ecstatic to have swept St. Paul’s and CRI, who have historically been challenging opponents for Andover. Although CRI is not in the same league as Andover, it is an extremely competitive team that rows all year long.
Faulkner said, “CRI and St. Paul’s both have a very rich rowing history, so beating them always feels good. Last year, we lost to CRI by .1 seconds, so I think all the returners to the boat were determined to beat them and get revenge. It was great conditions to row, and it was a quick race. I definitely think we have room to improve, but we are at a good place for this point in the season. I’m excited to race Exeter and Tabor this weekend, as they are also perennially very fast teams.”
Riding on its upward momentum, Boys Crew will take to the Merrimack River to race Northfield Mount Hermon, Tabor and Phillips Exeter Academy this Saturday on its home course.