After a 133-53 victory over Loomis Chaffee at home on December 8, the Andover Boys Swimming & Diving team traveled to New Jersey on Saturday, sweeping the meet to claim its second win ever over Peddie with a score of 119-51.
Last year at a tri-meet against Suffield and Peddie, Andover defeated Peddie for the first time in their team’s history by 12 points. On Saturday, Andover won with a margin of 68 points.
Captain Neil Simpson ’19 said, “We were pumped up and ready to go. We just wanted to race fast. At the end of the day, we just wanted to do what we had control of and swim fast, and that’s what we’re thinking about moving forward. We are not really being worried about what our competition does because we can’t slow down the competition, we can only speed up.”
The meet, held during the middle of their season, resulted in fast times across the board, according to Simpson.
“I like to think of it like kind of a mid-season invite, like a lot of college teams have. They have this mid-season meet where they kind of gauge where they’re at, after all of the training they’ve done so far in the year, and I think that’s the exact same for us. We used this as a place to gauge where we’re at in terms of our racing, in terms of our fitness, in terms of our legs, so we could just compare to how we did in previous years,” said Simpson.
Max Hunger ’20 said, “We were getting ready to just have an opportunity to mimic a championship meet where we could warm-down and we have to swim fast against strong competitors, so we had just been preparing mentally for a good challenge, and I think everyone just stepped-up today and did very well. I don’t think we dropped an event, which is pretty impressive.”
Many swimmers trained once or twice a day over the course of Winter Break in anticipation for the second part of the season. This allowed Andover to return from its training hiatus to campus well-prepared for strong competition against Peddie, according to Hunger.
“The two weeks before break were kind of like an initiation to the season, because we had our first week before Thanksgiving… So those two weeks in between Thanksgiving and Winter Break were kind of just getting everyone on the same page, getting everyone’s fitness up. Just training them, without that much rest, just getting everyone in shape, and over the Christmas break… everyone seemed to have trained hard because when we came back for this week, everyone was ready to send it,” said Hunger.
Notable races on Saturday include a goal-breaking swim for Sam Donchi ’20, who led a top three sweep in the 500-Yard Freestyle with a time of 4:38.95 minutes. Hunger and Anthony Minickiello ’20 followed with times of 4:44.31 minutes and 4:56.24 minutes. Donchi also won the 100-Yard Backstroke by two seconds with a time of 53.03 seconds. Lance Freiman ’19 won the 100-Yard Butterfly by nearly five seconds, with a time of 50.40 seconds. Freiman also led a top-three Andover sweep in the 50-Yard Freestyle, followed by Marcus Lee ’21 and Andy Xu ’19, who earned times of 21.51, 22.42, and 23.15 seconds, respectively.
Lee said, “A few days before the Peddie meet, we were doing some [sprint] sets, and that’s pretty much where we’re sprinting at our fastest pace continuously, trying to see how fast we could go consistently, and I think we were all going really fast times. I think we were just pretty confident going into that meet, even though Peddie was a good swim team. I think we were pretty confident.”
According to Hunger and Simpson, the team will continue training to reach its fullest potential until taper prior to championship meets in February and March.
“[Head Coach David Fox is] not going to let-up. He’s just going to train us hard, train us fast, and we’re just going to see how fast we’re going to swim in-season until the time comes to taper for championship,” said Hunger.
Simpson said, “We’re just trying to take it in stride. We’re back in the pool, we’re training hard. We’re just going to do our best and keep rolling forward at this point.”
The team will compete against Westford Academy at home this Friday.