This past weekend, Andover Girls Swimming & Diving traveled to Peddie in Hightstown, N.J., where the team took first place in both the 100-Yard Butterfly and 100-Yard Breaststroke, but ultimately fell to Peddie in a tight meet, in a score of 89-81. This loss brought the team’s record to 1-2.
Despite a long bus ride, the team was able to keep its spirits up and compete at a high level throughout the meet, according to Co-Captain Macey Mannion ’19.
“The girls really rallied after a early wake up and long bus ride and although the meet didn’t go the way we wanted, we were able to swim well and have a good time. Everyone did a good job of cheering each other on and being supportive,” Mannion wrote in an email to The Phillipian.
Known to be a consistently high-achieving swim program, Peddie proved itself especially strong competition for Andover, according to Head Coach Paul Murphy ’84.
“Peddie has graduated many swimmers who went on to swim in the Olympics… so we were visiting a pool where lots of great swimmers had swum,” Coach Murphy wrote in an email to The Phillipian.
Andover was able to hold its own against Peddie for the majority of the meet, but ultimately could not pull off the win, according to Jackie Rossi ’20.
“The score was super close, with the last relay determining the result. We had to get first and second to win, and first and third to tie the meet. Unfortunately, we got second and third. The team, however, definitely felt strong after that final relay despite losing,” said Rossi.
While the team ultimately lost, Andover took several second and third place finishes in the meet. The relay team of Anna Lang ’19, followed by Graceleigh Jones ’21, Kathleen Ty ’19, and Angelreana Choi ’19 claimed second in the 200-Yard Medley Relay with a time of 1:55.95 minutes. Hailey Wadell ’21 and Mannion finished in second and third place in the 200-Yard Freestyle with times of 2:04.75 and 2:05.25, respectively. Jones and Elizabeth Tran ’19 also took second and third in the 200-Yard IM, with times of 2:12.21 and 2:15.65, respectively.
Andover’s many top three finishes helped it to achieve a close margin of just eight points behind Peddie, according to Abby Ryan ’21.
“We had a lot of people place second and third in the events which helped us, because even though first place is awesome, it’s also great to have that support from the second and third place finishers,” Ryan said.
Aware of Peddie’s consistent strength of program, Andover redoubled its efforts in the practices leading up to the meet, according to Rossi and Ryan.
“We went into the meet at Peddie really prepared. We’ve been training very hard these past few weeks — Coach Murphy has been cranking up the difficulty on the sets to make sure that our team has depth,” said Rossi.
The team holds high hopes for the rest of the season, but will need to refocus its attention on freestyle sprints in practice, according to Coach Murphy.
Coach Murphy wrote,“I am so proud of each of the swimmers. We are making a huge year! We will increase the amount of freestyle sprinting this week. Our league relies heavily on those events, so we need to crank that up! Friday night lights meet this week. 4:00 p.m. meet!”
Andover will compete against Westford Academy this Friday at home.
Editor’s Note: Anna Lang is a Managing Editor for The Phillipian.