“Raise your mentality”: Boys Swimming Defeats Choate by 38 Points

Boys Swimming defeated Choate in the season opener by nearly 40 points, with a score of 108-70. Andover was able to claim the top four spots in the 200-yard Individual Medley (IM) race. 

Ashton Ma ’24 recounted the excitement of watching the 200-yard IM. Ma highlighted the performance of Co-Captain Christopher Xia ’23, who energetically finished the race followed by Pippin Kantakom ’25, Brian Lee ’25, and Daniel Seong ’25. 

“I know the 200 IM we got top four; first, second, third, fourth. I think in that race, one of our new lowers came up surging, especially in the beginning of the race, but our captain, Chris, came back towards the end and won,” said Ma.

In terms of the overall meet, Ethan Zhu ’26 credited the strong performances to sportsmanship and emphasized the high energy present.

“Everything went out pretty smoothly, both the girls’ and boys’ teams were cheering for each other and everything. There was a lot of camaraderie and everything like that. But other than that, in terms of performance, I’d say we did really well as well,” said Zhu.

This was the first high-school meet for some swimmers, such as Woori Lee ’26. Lee expressed his excitement, in spite of some confusion due to the timing system. Andover adapted to the challenge and led the meet. 

Lee said, “We were pretty hyped. It was also kind of not very intense because it wasn’t that big of a meet…. We expected to win, even though Choate gave us a good fight. And I feel like during the meet, some of the times were a bit off or very off because the timing system didn’t work too well, so we kind of had to adjust to that and realize that most of the times would be incorrect. And overall, as my first meet, I feel like it gave me a really good idea of how high school meets run.”

Lee discussed the sense of community each individual has developed in the practices leading up to the season opener, despite how short a period of time it was. He credits the captains who lead the team in fostering inclusivity across grades. 

“I think one of our strengths is our captains are really doing their job to kind of incorporate everyone into the team, and now we have one big facility, so we can all practice together, and we always like to see each other. I feel like as a bigger team, we have more of a sense of community, and we always talk to each other [and] laugh during practice. And I feel like that’s doing a great job lifting up the culture and the spirit of the team,” said Lee.

Looking ahead, Ma thinks that the team should look towards building their endurance for quicker transitions between races in meets. He hopes that the swimmers can adapt to the pace of high-school meets. 

Ma said, “For our next meet, I think one of our biggest issues with this meet was because high school meets go so much faster than meets outside of school, it’s hard to recover and be ready for the next race, especially when it’s like ten minutes after. So that’s something we have to work on.” 

Zhu commented on centering focus during meets. On Saturday, the warmups were disordered, influencing the level of preparation each individual had going into their events.

Zhu said, “I remember Coach Fox talking about [warmups], it’s a little bit chaotic and everything, and everyone was a little bit disorganized and stuff. Just because, I guess for a few of the kids, it was their first meet of the season, and first meet in general for high school, so I guess they weren’t too used to it. I guess another thing is probably sometimes, [to] ‘raise your mentality’ or just being prepared to go into the meet or into a race. Maybe some of us on the team, some people mess around a little bit, they’re having fun before a race or something, but I guess for the big meets it’s better to stay focused.”

Andover looks ahead to its first home meet Friday against St. John’s Preparatory School