Girls Swimming and Diving Dominates in Home Opener Against Choate

Ariana Zhao ’25 swam the 100-Meter Butterfly and 200-Meter Individual Medley against Choate.

1/6/24 – Andover: 103, Choate: 77

Andover Girls Swimming and Diving (1-0) kicked off the season with a win against Choate on Saturday. After returning from Winter Break, the team only had a few official practices to prepare for its meet. However, Andover rose to the occasion and was able to put out a strong performance in its home opener, defeating Choate by a large margin. 

According to Addison Deng ’26, the team worked on minor technical skills in the few days it had before Saturday’s competition. 

Deng said, “Closer to the actual meet…we focused a lot on the small technical things like turns, dives, and relay dives, and we did a couple of turning drills given by [Head] Coach Hillary [Kavanagh] and I think those really help to refine small racing details. Within the last two days, there isn’t much that you can do with regards to your swimming that can actually help you improve, but, it’s those small turns and dives and details that can really help you drop that last [tenth of a second].”

Deng highlighted Hannah Song ’27 for her exceptional effort and results in her first meet for Andover. Song raced in the 200-Yard and 500-Yard Freestyle events. 

Deng said, “She was put in the 200-Freestyle and the 500-Freestyle and just shined in those events and as a [Junior], she was able to sweep the field. She did really well, just giving it her all.”

According to Alice Zha ’25, the team’s positive morale on Saturday contributed to the team’s strong performance. 

“The relays [had high energy]. I swam in one of them, so that was really nice to be part of. But to watch, the first one [had the most energy]. It was the beginning of the meet and everyone was there. It was really fun. Everyone was cheering,” said Zha.

Looking ahead, the team will continue to build off of its pre-break conditioning and post-break work on technical skills, as they prepare for the upcoming meets. Kennedy Leach ’25 recounted the importance of continuing technical work.

On the last day of practice before the meet, we were working on our open turns, which [Coach Kavanagh] expressed that we should nail so that we can have faster turns in a meet. So, that was something that she was very focused on in one of our practices, and probably more in the future,” said Leach.

The team also hopes to expand the variety of events that swimmers are able to partake in during meets. Deng emphasized the team’s goal of competing in different events at lower stakes meets in order to build confidence. 


“Signing up for events that we may not see ourselves doing at big championship meets, but are worth a good try are worth it to try out at smaller dual meets. I would say our team is pretty strong and no matter which events that we put our swimmers in, we will probably be able to succeed in the dual meets. Just taking that opportunity and expanding the events that we can swim [in],” said Deng.

Andover will swim against Suffield Academy in a dual meet away on Saturday.