With Co-Captains Grace Hitchcock ’20 and Jackie Rossi ’20 recording best times in all of their individual events, Andover Girls Swimming and Diving placed third in the Nepsac Division I Championships. The team traveled to Hotchkiss for the event, and finished the day with 283.5 points.
At the meet, the team also placed top 8 in all events except for the 50-Yard Freestyle, and all relays achieved their best times coming off of Easterns. Starting off with a third place finish in the 200-Yard Medley Relay with a time of 1:47:89, Andover smashed its previous best time of 1:53:35 from Easterns.
According to Hitchcock, the team had been training hard in preparation for New Englands and performed impressively, despite falling short of goals to place first.
Hitchcock said, “We came in third overall, which isn’t exactly where we expected to be, but at the end of the day you can only really control how our team does… But I think amongst the team, we had almost entirely season bests and personal bests across the board, and people had really great individual performances. I can say with a hundred percent certainty that our team did as best as we could. We put in more hours and better quality training this year than we have the entire four years that I’d been on the team, and we definitely were more driven than we were in previous years, so I think that our team maximized all the potential that we had for the season.”
As New Englands was the last meet of the season, the team was excited and eager to compete which helped fuel its performance, according to Rossi.
Rossi said, “I think compared to other meets this season, the energy levels were just a lot higher during this meet, and I think that’s always the case just because the meet is a lot more formal. First of all, the meet is against a bunch of other schools and it’s the whole league. There’s prelims and finals, so it’s a lot more technical. You have to think about two races for every race you swim, and there’s the whole podium which is formal and it’s fun to watch the team and to cheat on the people on the team who do make it to the podium.”
According to Hitchcock, the team had fostered an encouraging community throughout the season, and the support was evident at New Englands.
“I think collectively, it was the perfect ending to our season because people really came together and rallied behind each other. Equally as much as we were performing incredibly well in the pool, we were also the loudest team there, the most supportive team there, [and] that’s really what counts,” said Hitchcock.
With both captains graduating at the end of the year, the meet was a gratifying end to their leadership, according to Veronika Kisova ’23.
“It was our last meet with our current captains, and both of them gave this really inspiring speech before the start of the meet that really motivated us all. I think it was a really great end to our season and it was a great way to see off our two amazing captains, and I’m really going to miss the team next year,” said Kisova.