Andover Crew Defeats Exeter and Tabor

In their final home meet on Saturday, All Gender Crew delivered strong performances against Phillips Exeter Academy (Exeter) and Tabor Academy, securing decisive victories for both the boys’ and girls’ teams. As it trains for the end-of-season championships at New England Interscholastic Rowing Association (NEIRAS), the team is committed to maintaining their diligent work ethic.

In preparation for the meet, the team concentrated on rowing in unison. They worked on timing their catches, coordinating each stroke and recovery phase. Cade Rutoske ’26 emphasized the importance of rowing together to maximize the efficiency and potential of the team.

“We focused a lot on rowing together, which is obviously a very important part of rowing because in my boat we have a lot of strength and a lot of talent, but oftentimes it won’t be utilized if not everyone is in line with one another and rowing together. Because of this we have been focusing on our catch timing and getting our strokes in the water at the same time while following each other’s bodies all the way through the stroke and on the recovering,” Rutoske said.

With varying results across the team’s many races, the meet was an intense and collaborative effort. Rutoske highlighted the exciting nature of the B2 race where they were tight with Exeter.

Rutoske said, “I think we had a very strong meet. We had a lot of races where the team was up by one or more boat lengths. For B2 it was very close and we were neck and neck with Exeter. We then pulled it out during our spring to get the win by about a second or two. Overall it was a very exciting win. All the boats had strong races so it was really a joint effort across the program which was really cool.”

The Andover versus Exeter rivalry further brought a competitive atmosphere to the meet, with the team seeing each event as an opportunity to gauge their skill level. Spencer Salhanick ’24 noted that there was particular excitement for this last meet, given the team’s hard work over the past few months.

“I think the energy of the event was really exciting. There was a lot of anticipation going into the meet because I think we’ve all been working really hard all season Coach [Taylor] Washburn tells us that each race is like a measuring stick to see how good we are. I think people were pretty excited going into the race and because of the special rivalry against Exeter, which just added to the anticipation. The first boat also had a deal with Exeter’s first boat where whoever won would get an exchanged henley shirt, so that just created extra motivation for the first boat,” said Salhanick.

Thanks to the dedication of every rower, the team has seen significant improvement in its performance since the beginning of the season. Salhanick pointed out their faster times and consistent victories as evidence of their progress.

Salhanick said, “I think the biggest way the team has been improving the season is just that we’ve been putting in a lot of work and grinding every single day. Everyone has been focused and locked in and working on the small things because that can make a difference… We have had a good team from the start but overall there has been improvements and our times have really been reflecting that. It’s been a really exciting season and we are all very excited for NEIRAS and we are hopeful that we can win.”

With NEIRAS on the horizon, this meet served as a helpful benchmark for the team, indicating its current standing and guiding their attention for upcoming practices. Anni Juusela ’24 mentioned that the meet boosted their confidence in handling high-pressure situations effectively.

“Especially going into the last part of the season and NEIRAS, this meet just showed us where we are at. We now can tell what we need to focus on for the upcoming weeks in practice. I also think this gave us confidence because we know that we are a strong team and that we are able to compete in pressure situations,” Juusela said.

Andover Crew will compete at NEIRAS on Saturday.