Boys Swimming and Diving Wins First Meet of Season Against Choate

Boys Swimming and Diving opened its second season in the Pan Athletic Center.

Saturday 105-73

On Saturday, Boys Swimming and Diving (1-0) competed against Choate at home, opening the 2024 season with an exciting win. The team’s diligent preseason efforts were reflected in this win and in their commitment to upholding the high standards set by its previous season.

According to Ethan Zhu ’26, all members of the team stayed disciplined during Winter Break. Head Coach David Fox informed the athletes of ways to pick up right where they left off when getting back into the pool this year.

Zhu said, “Over break, Coach Fox recommended to us that we stay in shape. That could mean getting into the pool or doing some other type of physical activity outside like running, going to the gym, or other things like that. When we came back to practice we just started off with hard training like usual.”

Many athletes found the mental aspect of getting back to the pool challenging. Despite this Zhu was confident that the team would be able to rely on their training and the teammates during the meet.

Zhu said “Since we were coming off a break, we were all a bit tired, nervous, and not as optimistic as we normally are, but we knew we just needed to execute and use our training to do our best. The meets are pretty tiring and short, so we don’t get that much rest. Everyone’s goal was just to perform as best as they could.”

Many of the athletes went into the meet with a high level of attention to their performance. Sam Lee ’24 remarked that despite a heightened level of seriousness at the Pan Athletic Center, the team kept up a spirit of encouragement and cheerfulness.

Lee said “It was very focused and concentrated. All of us were out there to swim our best races, and of course, even if we were focused, we still supported our teammates. One of my favorite parts is being able to watch my friends and being able to cheer them on and create an encouraging environment.”

Zhu reflected on the team’s 2022-2023 season, where the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) announced nine Andover athletes as the 2023 All-Americans and ranked Andover eighth nationally. He hopes that this year continues to challenge athletes to strive for such records.

Zhu said, “The team wants to keep up a streak of good work and good meets because last year we won both of our biggest meets of the season. We are coming off a very strong season, and we want to continue that. That means we have to train hard in practice and do our job outside of the pool by getting good sleep and eating well.”

Energized by the support of their home audience, the team held up to its expectations. Because swimming is more of an individual sport, Brandon Xu ’26 believes that learning to perform during demanding moments helps swimmers the most as they swim at a higher level.

“It’s all practice. Every competition and every race is an opportunity to get better, to try something different, and to hone in on your skills when the stakes are a little bit higher. It’s important to build good habits early on so when it comes time to race when it matters, especially at New Englands or Easterns, you can deal with the pressure and perform your best,” said Xu.

With more knowledge of races, the team identified methods to enhance their preparation for upcoming competitions. Xu pointed out that proper nutrition and rest will significantly help the team in its future meets.

Xu said “Everyone on the team now knows that meets are pretty fast-paced and that you don’t have a lot of rest in between your races. Being fully prepared and having snacks available to refuel between races is very important.”

Andover Boys Swimming and Diving will compete against St. John’s Prep at home on Friday.