Holding off a late push from Boston College High School, Andover Boys Crew’s B1 maintained a strong lead to cross the finish line first with a margin of 5.2 seconds and a time of 4:20.4.
Andover’s B2, B3, B4, and B5 also contributed with first places finishes, at 4:29.3, 4:38.6, 4:39.3, and 4:59 respectively. Andover went on to sweep B.C. High, Hingham High School, Tabor Academy, and Boston Latin at the race on Saturday, April 27. The team’s record now stands at 1-2.
Coming into the race, Andover was aware of B.C. High’s strength in its sprints. To combat this, it looked to have strong starts and maintain its lead throughout the course, according to Henry Hearle ’20 and Co-Captain Jacob Hudgins ’19.
Hearle said, “I think our starts across the board were stronger than B.C. High, Hingham, Tabor, and [Boston Latin]. We then took that boost of confidence and kept widening the gap because we knew that B.C. High is known for their sprints. But I think ultimately, we out stroked them and their sprint at the end wasn’t able to make a dent on the length or so we had between them.”
“I think we did a good job of going out fast from the start. We wanted to focus on getting out early in the beginning and also continuing to increase our lead throughout the race,” said Hudgins.
The conditions of the Merrimack made for a strong following current and a tailwind that caused the boats to move almost a minute faster than usual. The change in conditions required Andover to change its gameplan, according to Hudgins.
“The current was really quick so the race was a minute faster than usual, which meant that obviously there were less strokes in the race, which had a lot of different implications. The longer the race, the more you rely on your endurance training, while the shorter the race, the more you rely on your anaerobic training. Usually we do a start which is around 25 strokes, and then a settle which is ten strokes, and then quite a long time in the middle before you get to the sprint, while in this race it was a starting sequence, a settle, and then we were already at the sprint,” said Hudgins.
This sweep leaves Andover with more incentive to improve in the second half of the season, according to Co-Captain Nick Demetroulakos ’19.
“I am constantly impressed and inspired by how hard the crew team works every day. The whole team has been putting in lots of good strokes on the water, and it showed this weekend. This victory felt great, but we are going to go up against some really fast teams in the coming weeks. We just need to keep getting fitter and making sure we are working together to move the boat,” wrote Demetroulakos in an email to The Phillipian.
The team will face St. John’s Prep and St. Paul’s on Saturday.