Ending the season with 35 season best times and ten personal best times, Girls Swimming and Diving ended its undefeated season with a second place finish at the New England Division I Swimming and Diving Championships (New Englands).
Given the amount of pressure of New Englands, the team was ecstatic with its performance, as each member swam with confidence and a resolute mindset, according to Melissa Chang ’23.
“We’re all very proud of what we accomplished. With Elissa Kim ’24 down because of sickness, all of us stepped up and did our best. Many of us made finals and swam our personal bests. The boys team, as expected, finished off with first and broke many records,” said Chang.
Sophia You ’26 believed that team spirit and encouragement pushed the team through nerves and boosted confidence going into each race. Despite the individual nature of swimming, she felt that the encouragement provided by the team throughout the meet displayed the close-knit and supportive culture of the team.
You said, “Overall, we placed second and we were happy with that outcome as everyone tried their best for the team. It was nice seeing everyone behind the blocks before their teammates swam, trying to help calm their nerves, and get them excited to race.”
Chang described how the liveliness and organization of the meet allowed for athletes to excel.
“I think the meet went pretty well. It was very organized and there wasn’t much delay in the events. The atmosphere was very nice — people were cheering for their teammates, warming up, or resting,” said Chang.
As a Junior, You mentioned the thrill of watching all of the Seniors raise their trophies for the last time. Given the major role that each Senior played throughout the season, it was a very special moment for the entire team.
“For me, a highlight of the meet was getting to see all of the Seniors holding the trophy at the end of the meet. It was nice seeing all their hard work during this season pay off. As a [Junior], I often felt confused at what to do in practice or at meets, but the Seniors’ leadership and guidance helped me through, and made my experience on the team an amazing one,” You said.
You added that the season ended on a positive and successful note, not only because of the team’s performance in the pool, but also due to the creation of a welcoming and inclusive environment outside the pool.
“I’m really happy with the team’s end of season meet. I loved getting to know everyone and seeing each individual grow into their swimming and their individual personalities,” said You.
Chang noted how many members of the team were able to thrive under the pressure. Led by several standout performances, Andover ultimately ended its season with a variety of emotions.
Chang said, “One of the highlights of the swim meet included breaking the school record with a 47.85 in the 100-Fly, placing him first in prelims. It was also exciting to see Ariana Zhao ’25 place first for 100-Backstroke. And the girls 400-Free Relay, the last event of the meet, was very intense and exciting as everyone cheered for their teammates and Andover placed second with a close time with third place Deerfield. Lastly, I would say the highlight of the highlight would be everyone hugging each other, crying, and laughing as we received our trophy.”
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