With enthusiastic cheers from the end of the pool, Andover Girls Swim & Dive won by a landslide against Suffield with a final score of 128-55 as well as securing its second win against Westford Academy 99-79. The team’s record now stands at 2-0.
Co-Captain Ashley Vensel ’22 and Mia Wonacott ’24 both note the spirit and excitement that spread throughout the team and how tight-knit the team has become even over a short amount of time.
“We’ll just always be the best at just cheering each other on. And we’re always like the loudest team and everybody when they’re not racing cheers for each other. And we’re just so supportive of everybody. And whenever people finish the race, we go over and congratulate them and give them a high five so I just think our camaraderie has just been top-notch these past two meets,” said Vensel.
Wonacott added, “I particularly noticed this in Southfield, we’ve got a lot of spirit and we kind of always stand at the end of the pool while our teammates are swimming and stand three people per lane. And everyone is cheering for the people that are swimming and you know we’re cheering loud for our team. We got a lot of spirit.”
Vensel believes that fellow teammate Elissa Kim ’23 has stepped up as a key cornerstone for the team. She acknowledges the difficulties in developing a team within the pandemic, stating that the team has been grappling with helping inexperienced players gain confidence and experience as the season progresses.
Vensel said, “Elissa Kim has been incredibly fast this season. And she’s a huge asset to our team, just because her speed is incredible. This season has been different because we kind of had rebuilt the team, just because we didn’t have the year before that. So we’re welcoming on, like half of the team is new. So just everybody. All of the freshmen and new lowers have really been taking it all in stride. And now they all contribute a great deal.”
Similarly, Molly MacKinnon ’24 highlights Emma Chung ’23 for her exceptional performances in the meets this past week. According to MacKinnon, Chung’s mental contribution and high spirits were just as prevalent as her physical races.
“She’s an Upper on our team, and she’s had really good team spirit, and has been encouraging us in practice a lot, and she’s always cheering people on the side of the pool. And her sprints have been really helpful in all the relays,” MacKinnon said.
According to Wonacott, the team’s success comes from the wide range of diverse swimmers who specialize in one event or another. This large spread of talent is a major contributing factor to the past two victories, says Wonacott.
She said, “I think we’re a pretty well-rounded team. We’ve kind of got swimmers in every category that really excelled. I think that distance learners do well every time. And also, we just got a lot of great swimmers doing all different kinds of events. So I think that’s why we’ve been pretty successful so far is because we do have that kind of balance. And yeah, I think that’s probably part of the reason why.”
Andover Girls Swim & Dive hopes to continue this winning streak going into the upcoming meet against Deerfield.
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