Since returning to campus for Winter Term and completing quarantine, on-campus Seniors have had the opportunity to participate in Andover athletics. Though teams still must comply to Covid-19 restrictions, Seniors reflect on their athletics experiences for this term.
Hailey Wadell ’21 (Girls Swimming & Diving)
How have practices this season been different from previous years?
This term, we actually started doing morning practices, so we’re practicing in the morning now [at] 6:30 [a.m.] most days, some days [at] 7:00 [a.m.] before class. We finish before breakfast, then go to breakfast and then go to class… We only have Seniors on campus, so it’s just five of us. It’s obviously a lot different from [having] 18 to 22 girls in the pool, so we each get our lane, which is super nice… I think the team is just trying to stay super positive and have fun. It’s only three weeks of practice, and I think that’s kind of what our team has always been doing—take each day as a day to have fun and figure it out as it goes. It’s a good group of girls this term.
Gwen Empie ’21 (Girls Swimming & Diving)
What do you miss most about normal practices?
I miss having the whole team. Obviously the energy in a space is a lot different with five people than there is with twenty people. I would just say our team has so many unique characters that it’s really sad that we don’t have access to fifteen people and their fun energy and the spirit we usually have at practices.
Bianca Rodriguez Pagano ’21 (Recreational Yoga)
What has in-person yoga looked like so far this term with Covid-19 restrictions?
We can’t do any group yoga, so we can’t touch. I’m pretty sure all the mats are cleaned because we have our own mats. Other than that, everything feels very, very normal, which is kind of weird… the only difference is having to wear a mask. I took yoga Lower Fall as well, so it’s been pretty much the same experience. It’s also kind of nice just because it feels normal in a sense—it’s kind of a good way to get away from a Covid-19 campus.
Zach Moynihan ’21 (Indoor Track)
How has your experience been resumed in-person Indoor Track practice?
It’s been great to practice on the track and reconnect with coaches and teammates. We have a small group, so we can do the workouts and exercises together as opposed to breaking up into smaller groups. Still, I miss being with the entire team and competing with everyone at meets. The intensity of each practice is the same as ever, but nothing beats the energy of a full team out on the track.
Gregor Deveau ’21 (Boys Swimming & Diving)
What do you think about your team’s Covid-19 restrictions?
I think the restrictions for swimming are great. Everyone understands what we have to do and what’s asked of them, and we haven’t had any instances up to date of people not following those restrictions. Everyone’s been really mindful because we do love practicing and we don’t want to get [our practices] shut down by the Athletics Directors or the coaches… I honestly think that [the restrictions are] pretty fair. Everyone’s doing their part, their masks are on whenever they’re out of the pool, and whenever they’re in the pool, it’s all business.
Alex Oder ’21 (Indoor Track)
What restrictions do the team need to follow during practices?
Like how things are across most of campus, we have to stay masked and six feet apart at all times, with the one exception maybe being when we go to get water. We can’t use the locker rooms, and any exercises or stretches that require any sort of contact with someone else aren’t allowed either. Though the restrictions definitely make things a lot more inconvenient, I think they’re 100 percent necessary. We’ve all got our eyes on competing in the spring, so everyone who’s on campus is super committed to staying safe and proving we can be trusted.
Erik Wang ’21 (Boys Squash)
How has the intensity of practices been this season compared to previous years?
[Practices have been] a bit less intense [than before] because we don’t have these big matches like Andover vs. Exeter or the National Championships. We also have maybe three or four kids per practice per team, so that makes a big difference. We’ve been taking it a little bit more low key with our practices, but it’s also been really enjoyable… We’ve sort of gotten rid of the fitness aspect—we haven’t been doing as much strength training and as much conditioning as in a normal season. We’ve pretty much done zero competitive match play together to get in shape for a regular match, but technique wise [and] strategy wise, it’s all still there.