Breaking the Nepsac record for the 200-Meter Medley Relay, Jack Warden ’19, Neil Simpson ’19, Arnold Su ’20, and Captain Christian Alberga ’17 led Andover Boys Swimming & Diving to a season opener win against Choate, defeating its opponents by the score of 104-77. The relay team’s finished with a time of 1:47.22 minutes.
Practice played a significant role in Andover’s first meet, and each athlete prioritized readiness for the season. Although the team only had eight days to practice in the pool, the team was still able to step up to the challenge.
Rick Ono ’19 said “Everyone had been training really hard over Thanksgiving Break, and we were super excited to race this weekend. We knew that Choate had the most returning points from last year’s championship, so we were determined to step up and race as fast as we could.”
Andover set the tone of the meet in the first event, the 200-Meter Medley Relay, securing nine of the 15 points up for grabs. The record-breaking, first-place performance was backed up with third and fifth place finishes with times of 1:55.20 and 1:57.87 minutes, respectively.
In the 200-Meter Freestyle, Nick Isenhower ’18 dominated his competition placing first with a time of 1:58.77 minutes, six seconds ahead of all other competitors. Anthony Minickiello ’20 placed second with a time of 2:04.57 minutes and Simpson placed third with a time of 2:06.32 minutes. This sweep of the first three places contributed heavily to Andover’s lopsided win.
Andover also swept the first three places in the 400-Meter Freestyle with performances from Juniors Minickiello, Ono, and Adam Vlasic ’20. The three swam times of 4:18.24, 4:32.98, and 4:33.57 minutes, respectively.
Talented newcomers were defining factors of the season opener. In the 200-Meter Individual Medley, Vlasic placed first with a time of 2:20.77 minutes. In the 50-Meter Freestyle, Su placed second with 24.52 seconds, and Will Kantaros ’18 placed fifth with 26.08 seconds. Despite being a rookie on the team, Su also won the 100-Meter Breaststroke with an impressive time of 1:07.22 minutes.
Andover added to its overall success in the relay events. In the 200-Freestyle Relay, Lance Freiman ’19, Harvey Zheng ’19, Isenhower, and Kantaros placed first with a time of 1:40.98 minutes. In the 400-Meter Freestyle Relay, Su, Warden, Isenhower, and Alberga also placed first finishing the meet off with a win.
In Boys Diving, Matt Grottkau ’17 flipped his way to a score of 164.35 and a second-place finish, which added to Andover’s point tally.
Coming off of a 2015 Nespac Championship, Andover’s winning mentality has been easy for newcomers to embrace.
“Being part of the team as a [Junior] has been so much fun for me,” said Minickiello. “I love most the competitive atmosphere and training amongst talented swimmers who all earnestly strive to attain a common goal: To be the best possible when they hit the water, at all costs.”
Alberga said, “The team did the thing that we are best at – be a team. We worked together, supported each other, cared for each other and cheered for each other. As a team, we are really good at being a team – and that is the key to our success.”
Andover’s hosts Loomis Chaffee this Saturday and has high hopes for a potential winning streak.
Kantaros said, “We’re just going to keep working hard and grinding through practices. It’ll allow us to be prepared for the meets and hopefully it will show.”