Wiping out Deerfield in the 400-Meter Freestyle Relay, Hailey Wadell ’21, Graeleigh Jones ’21, Mary Kate Turk ’22, and Co-Captain Elizabeth Tran ’19 finished with a first-place time of 3:49:40. Andover Girls Swimming & Diving also secured second and third place in this race, ultimately securing triumph over Deerfield last Saturday. The team totalled 101 points over Deerfield’s 85, advancing its season record to 2-3.
According to Grace Hwang ’22, Andover and Deerfield remained head to head throughout the entire meet, and the 400-Meter Freestyle Relay was the ultimate deciding factor of which team would come out on top.
Hwang said, “We were very close to each other, the [4×100] Free Relay is the last event of the meet, so it was really close. If they had won that relay, they could have won the whole meet. We got one, two, and three which was awesome.”
However, the team’s depth and consistency across the board gave enabled it to out-swim its opponents in the relay, and ultimately led to the team’s victory, according to Head Coach Paul Murphy ’84.
“We had to come in at least two and three in the relay, but if we only came in second, it would have been a tie. So as soon as that race started it was clear that Deerfield had put their best swimmers in the previous two first relays and they had nothing left. So our depth really helped, we were still strong up until the very very last relay,” said Coach Murphy.
According the Grace Hitchcock ’20, Andover was able to push through in the final moments of the 400-Meter Freestyle Relay, actualizing the team’s full potential.
Hitchcock said, “I’ve noticed with pretty much every meet this season that it comes down to that race, and we’ve sort of been lacking in the sprinting department in that final push of the meet, but we really all came through at this meet.
Co-Captain Macey Mannion ’19 shut out Deerfield in the 500- Yard Freestyle. It was a hardfought win, according to Hwang.
“Macey Mannion did really well in the 500-[Meter] Freestyle; the other girl from Deerfield was really close to her — it was a very back and forth race. In the end Macey pulled through and got us first,” said Hwang.
Even with a diving injury, Andover recovered and was still able to gain a total of 4 points from the Girls 1-Meter Diving.
Looking forward, Andover continues to work on refining its relay techniques in practice for future meets, as well as in preparation for the Eastern Championships, according to Hitchcock.
“Relays are worth so many points, so a lot of it comes down to who can kick faster to the wall, who gets off that wall faster, who’s got better underwaters. So it’s a lot of these really small details that just need to be pulled together in these leading up to the last meets of the season.”
Andover will face Hopkins away on February 9.