Boys Swimming Sports Winter Sports

Andover Claims Victory at Eastern’s

Breaking 27 records in total, Andover Boys’ Swimming and Diving won the Eastern Interscholastic Championships by 123.5 points.

The team traveled to Lancaster, Penn., on Thursday, February 14 to compete in the meet on Friday and Saturday, where there were preliminary and final sessions on both days.

“The records were fun and they’re cool, but our goal at the end of the day was just to swim as fast as possible. So what was more cool was just seeing guys drop tons of time, and records come with that, but the big time drops were really what were most exciting,” said Lance Freiman ’19, who broke the 100 Freestyle school record in a time of 45.30 and was a member of the 200 medley relay that broke seven total records over the course of Friday. Freiman also broke the 100-Yard Butterfly record which was the oldest meet record and stood for 32 years with a time of 48.08s in the preliminary round.

While the team took a commanding lead in scoring after Friday, Freiman says that he didn’t know the team had won until the final 400-Yard freestyle relay on Saturday night.

“Preparing for the meet, we just kind of did what we always do. We trained hard. Then we rested for two weeks beforehand… I didn’t know we were going to win it until the end of the last session when the last relay was over. I knew that we had performed well and I knew a lot of guys had swum fast, but I wasn’t totally sure that we won the meet until the very end, but when we did, it was really exciting,” said Freiman.

The team broke a total of six New England records, four Franklin and Marshall pool records, 14 school records, a Lower record, and two meet records. In addition, members of the team surpassed All-American standards in numerous events.

The team had placed second in this meet for the past two years, so, coupled with the energy from the competitive meet, the team was motivated to win this year, according to Freiman.

Zack Peng ’21 and Ora Cullen ’19 placed third and tenth overall in the diving competition, with scores of 414.40 and 329.65 points, respectively.

According to Captain Neil Simpson ’19 and Max Hunger ’19, the team was energized from the competitive energy from the crowd and everyone on the team was cheering for one another.

On Wednesday, the team competed in the 100th anniversary of its annual Andover-Exeter competition, where it defeated Phillips Exeter Academy. Multiple pool, school, and A-E meet records were broken, and Simpson also broke the New England record in the 100 breastroke.

“I was pretty excited. After getting disqualified at Eastern’s, I was pretty upset, but Mr. Fox was like, ‘You can put on a suit and go for it on Wednesday.’ And I was like, ‘Yup, let’s do it.’ And it happened, so I was pretty pumped,” said Simpson.

The team has its final New England championship meet at Deerfield on March 2 and 3. However, Eastern’s served as the culmination to a season’s worth of work, according to Simpson.

“Everyone came through when we needed it most. That’s what we had been focusing on for the whole year, everything we did in the fall, all of the training we did, led up to this meet. We sent it,” said Simpson.

Freiman said, “We’re just looking at New Englands. The season isn’t over. We still have two more weeks. That’s just what’s on our mind right now: preparing for New Englands.”