Andover Wins Tri-Meet against Exeter First Time in Two Years

Tayla Tildsley PG ’23 prepares for a duel on the mat.

Miles Palmer ’23 celebrates victory after a match.

Wrestling competed in a Class A Tri-meet against Hyde School and Phillips Exeter Academy (Exeter) this past Saturday. Andover led the meet by beating Exeter 42-39 and Hyde 52-27, respectively. Now, its record stands at 8-2. 

The two duels prompted impressive performances from George Ryckman ’24, Bodhi Beroukhim ’25, and Ben Forman ’23, who all pinned their opponents in under a minute. Ryckman began the Exeter matchup with a 21 second pin, giving Andover an early lead. 

During the meet, Leo Oguntoyinbo ’25 dislocated his elbow and was rushed to the hospital. Despite being without one of their athletes, Wrestling was able to overcome challenges in its defeat of Exeter, according to Co-Captain Miles Palmer ’23. 

“I would say that the biggest moment was probably our win against Exeter. Not only were we able to beat a school that we hadn’t in two years, but during the high match, one of our teammates, Leo, got injured and he could not participate in the Exeter meet. However, we were able to win the match for him, which I think pushed a lot of us on the team to do better so we could win for Leo. It also felt great to just text him afterwards and let him know that we won,” Palmer said.

Tayla Tildsley PG ’23 credited the team for adjusting to different lineups due to Oguntoyinbo’s injury. She believed that the camaraderie within the team kept all athletes focused.

Tildsley said, “We all had to come together and keep the mindset to go on and win the Exeter duel. [We rearranged] our lineup and really [kept] going out there and everyone [was] giving it their best, knowing that we lost a super big component of our team. But we kind of just had to keep our mindset together and think of him and go on to do our best. I think the support that we were giving him and each other carried us through the rest of the day after that.”

In terms of individual performances, Ophelia Lee ’26 praised Tildsley’s efforts against a challenging opponent. As reigning All State Champion, Tildsley’s grit shone through as she fiercely competed for each point, which contributed to Andover’s success. 

“During her match… she had to really fight him off to get those points and even though she lost the match overall, she worked so hard to stop him from scoring. She kept us in the lead and that’s how we beat Exeter. If she didn’t work that hard then maybe we wouldn’t have won. She really put everything she had into it even to her opponent who was just stalling half of the time,” Lee said

Although Tildsley’s personal undefeated season came to an end, she kept a positive mindset.

Tildsley said, “I obviously wanted to win because I won all my matches up until now. I wasn’t too nervous because I knew that even though I wanted to win, it wasn’t the end of the world if I didn’t because going against boys is a little bit of a different environment than going against girls as a girl just physically, mentally in competition. I knew that if I just went out there and tried my best, no matter how strong he was, it was going to be good mat time for me and a good match to get more experience for later on in the season.”

Palmer reflected on the future plans of the team. As Co-Captain, he emphasized the importance of maintaining fitness and consistently conditioning, even on off days. 

“I would say for the next meet that me and the whole team, especially because of Martin Luther King Day and all the days we’ve had off, to make sure to be in the gym and working as much off the mat [that we can] as [if] we are on the mat. I would say hitting the gym with the team and making sure we continue to work as hard as we have been is something we should improve and continue doing for our next match,” Palmer said. 

Andover will compete in a Quad meet against Exeter, Roxbury Latin, Tabor Academy, and Belmont Hill this Saturday.