Girls Crew Swept by Kent in First Race of the Season

Despite losing to Kent in the opening race of the season, Andover Girls Crew gained essential experience working together as a new team. With this loss, Andover’s record now stands at 0-1. 

Layla Shmuylovich ’26, a first time rower, was greeted with open arms by the Andover crew team. She was impressed with the team’s supportive attitude and spirit throughout the meeting despite the loss. 

Shmuylovich said, “Even though we did not win, everyone came back with smiles and a supportive attitude. This was my first time rowing on the Andover team, and I have to say this is the most supportive and strong crew community I have ever been in. Before and after we raced, I could hear the cheers of our teammates, and that really drove us to work even harder.”

Migyu Kim ’25 believed that the training leading up to the event was beneficial to the team’s overall coordination and physical level. Due to the new rowers on the team, it was crucial to build a foundation before the race. 

“This was the first race of the season, so leading up to the event, we were really just training to find our rhythm and connection as a boat. In our workouts, we focused on improving our fitness and getting used to racing rates. Our training definitely translated into the race because it felt that we were all working together and I felt physically prepared to compete on Saturday,” Migyu said. 

Samantha Older ’25, a coxswain, highlighted the team’s work ethic and determination. Using the techniques learned in practice, Older believed that they were successfully able to execute each strategy. She also pointed out the team’s ability to recover from a crab, an accident that occurs when a rower loses control of an oar. 

“I was very proud of how my boat recovered from the crab. They did not let it phase them; they simply picked themselves up again and gave it all they had. I could see the fight, determination, and competitive spirit they had, and admired how they kept their composure and focus all the way through. In terms of technique, I was impressed with how the team kept the length and pressure without rushing the recovery, even at a high race rate. We also kept a good time with each other and focused on keeping the swing synced with every other rower in the boat,” said Older. 

Co-Captain Reese DiBiase ’23 stated that the team should focus on improving their starts as it was an area where Kent had an advantage and was able to capitalize on. Looking ahead, she believes this will be a big area for improvement. 

DiBiase said, “I think for the girls’ side, especially G1, we don’t have a ton of practice being down on other crews and walking back. In our start during the race, Kent was able to get the lead and after that, we struggled with how to walk back to them.

Since it is only their first game, Shmuylovich thinks that the team needs to keep working on its weaknesses and preventing accidents. If the team does this she believes they will be in a great place for the upcoming meet. 

“I think all boats and all rowers have learned a lot about different things we can work on, whether it is how we recover from crabs or how we do the start sequence. This will all be used as a basis for what we need to work on for our next event this Saturday,” said Shmuylovich. 

After last weekend’s game, Kim also expressed her thoughts that to achieve future success, the team must concentrate on technique and work together as a unit. Additionally, she emphasized the significance of staying composed and getting enough rest while preparing for the upcoming match.

“I think that there is still work to be done in terms of finding our fluidity and connection as a whole boat. We made a lot of improvements, considering the final lineup hadn’t been set until a couple of days before the race, but rowing as one is really crucial for success, and I think there is still more training to be done to become even more aligned. Specifically for technique, we are going to work to have quicker catches, which essentially allows for more efficient and effective strokes. Finally, my boatmates and I are going to be thinking about staying calm and confident in our abilities and not getting frantic and tense in the face of competition,” said Kim.

Andover Girls Crew will go against Deerfield and Duxbury next Saturday for their second competition of the season.