Trailing Hopkins by one point, Andover Girls Swimming & Diving landed a first place, third place, and fourth place victory in the 200-Yard Freestyle Relay, propelling the team ahead and securing a 96-89 win over Hopkins on Saturday. Andover’s record now stands at 3-3.
According to Grace Hwang ’22, Andover’s depth of talent helped the team to thrive in that event and win the meet overall.
Grace Hwang ’22 said, “All of our 200-[Yard] Free Relays were very consistent across the board. It was also a goal that [Head Coach Paul] Murphy [’84] had set for us, to win the 200-[Yard] Free Relay. He had told us that he really strongly believed that we could win the [event], and the goal coming into the 200-[Yard] Free Relay was to win the event. And to, of course, have fun.”
Despite the absence of Co-Captain Liz Tran ’19, the team still put up a strong performance, snagging several top five finishes across the board. Andover placed especially well in the 500-Yard Freestyle, in which Co-Captain Macey Mannion ’19 placed second, Hailey Wadell ’21 placed third, and Ashley Vensel ’22 placed fourth with times of 5:34.20, 5:35.34, and 5:43.76, respectively.
According to Alexa Discenso ’21, the team’s success in this meet was largely a result of the instruction of Coach Murphy, who emphasizes certain swimming techniques throughout the season.
“During practice throughout this season, our coach, [Paul] Murphy, has been encouraging us to work on using powerful kicking especially during our underwaters, and more recently, we did more sets focusing on ‘perfect turns.’ The results of paying lots of attention to these skills in practice showed up for everyone during the meet, and the attention to detail helped us beat Hopkins,” said Discenso ’21.
Reese Pelletier ’20 scored first in diving, helping close the margin between Hopkins and Andover before the 200-Yard Freestyle Relay.
According to Hannah Ono ’22, the team has continued to improve on its relay techniques throughout the season.
“We’ve practiced our relay starts every week, and that awareness of each other’s stokes has made the millisecond differences we need.” said Ono.
This Thursday, Andover will travel to Pennsylvania to compete in the Eastern Interscholastic Swimming & Diving Championships.