(Andover, MA) – The results of the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (NISCA) annual national dual-meet competition have been released, and for the 13th consecutive year, the Andover Boys’ Swimming and Diving Team is among the Top 25 independent school programs in the nation:
1st St. Xavier (OH) 6529
2nd Baylor (TN) 6004
3rd Regis Aurora (CO) 6065
4th Loyola (CA) 5992
5th Phillips Academy 5797
6th Bolles (FL) 5678
7th Brother Rice (MI) 5564
8th Santa Margarita (CA) 5485
9th LaSalle College (PA) 5472
10th Loyola Blakefield (MD) 5439
11th Peddie (NJ) 5425
In addition, for the fourth time in history, Andover placed among the Top 25 high schools, public and independent, in the USA. Andover finished 11th.
NISCA also released the final list of All-Americans—all high-school swimmers in the nation are eligible—and the Andover Boys placed:
12th, 200 Medley Relay, 1:31.15 (Jack Warden ’19, Neil Simpson ’19, Lance Freiman ’19, Arnold Su ’20)
78th, 200 Individual Medley, 1:50.37, Simpson
85th, 100 Butterfly, 49.41, Freiman
97th, 100 Breaststroke, 56.59, Simpson
17th, 400 Freestyle Relay, 3:02.96 (Nick Isenhower ’18, Freiman, Simpson, Su)
The 2017-2018 Swimming and Diving Season: Andover’s 106th
Each year, the Andover Boys’ Swimming & Diving team tries to find new ways to challenge itself. This year, with the Eastern and New England Championships scheduled two, rather than the usual one, week apart, Andover chose to rest for both and, to make things even more interesting, to place a dual meet in the middle! This challenge motivated Andover throughout the season, and by the time it ended in early March, the team had broken 27 records and had achieved 24 distinct All-American performances.
Throughout the season, Andover remained focused on the things within its control, and following an undefeated dual-meet season—which saw Andover’s first win over national powerhouse Peddie as well as a continuation of the program’s winning streak against New England schools; the program is 87-2-1 in New England since 2006—Andover emerged at the Eastern Championships, and two weeks later at the New England Championships, poised to do its best.
With three swimmers home with the flu, Andover began the 118th Eastern Championships in Pennsylvania by making a statement in the 200 Medley Relay, using a combination for the first time. Lance Freiman ’19 (23.67), Neil Simpson ’19 (24.79), Adam Vlasic ’20 (22.83), and Arnold Su ’20 (20.61) swam 1:31.90, the 2nd-fastest time in school history, for 2nd place. At the end of the meet, and needing to win the 400 Freestyle Relay in order to win the team championship, Captain Nick Isenhower ’18 had an opening leg of 46.03, breaking the 29-year-old school record in the 100 Freestyle. Freiman (45.95), Simpson (46.07), and Su (44.91) followed Isenhower, and while the squad placed 3rd, they broke the school record in the 400 Free Relay in 3:02.96.
In the individual events, 8 Andover athletes placed in the top 8: Lance Freiman ’19 (100 Fly and 200 IM), Nick Isenhower ’18 (100 Free), Will Kantaros ’18 (50 Free), Anthony Minickiello ’20 (500 Free), Zack Peng ‘21 (diving), Neil Simpson ’19 (100 Breast and 200 IM), Arnold Su ‘20 (200 Free and 100 Breast), and Adam Vlasic ‘20 (100 Fly). Among the many individual highlights of the meet were Simpson’s school records in the 100 Breast (56.59) and 200 IM (1:50.37) as well as Freiman’s school record in the 100 Fly (49.41).
As a further example of Andover’s depth, 14 of the 15 athletes competing at Eastern’s scored points for the team, which led to a 2nd-place finish in the team competition. Haverford was first with 550.5 points, Andover second with 537, and Peddie third with 517.
Two weeks later at the New England Championships, Andover showed its speed by achieving All-American standards in all three “A” relays in a single day. In the 200 Medley Relay, Jack Warden ’19 (23.55), Neil Simpson ’19 (25.18), Lance Freiman ’19 (21.92), and Arnold Su ’20 (20.50) placed 1st and shattered the New England record in 1:31.15. Nick Isenhower ’18, Will Kantaros ’18 (21.27), Marcus Lee ’21 (21.70), and Adam Vlasic ’20 (21.37) swam 1:25.87 in the 200 Freestyle Relay for 2nd. The 400 Freestyle Relay saw Isenhower (46.26), Su (45.72), Freiman (45.97), and Simpson (46.02) swim 3:03.97 for 1st. In the non-scoring “B” relays, Andover displayed its depth by winning all 3 relays. In the individual events at New Englands, Jack Warden ’19 was the sole champion, winning the 100 Back in 50.87. Other Top 8 performers included Sam Donchi ’20 (500 Free and 100 Fly), Lance Freiman ’19 (100 Fly and 200 IM), Jacob Hudgins ’19 (100 Breast), Yubo Jin ’21 (100 Breast), Nick Isenhower ’18 (100 and 200 Free), Will Kantaros ’18 (50 Free), Marcus Lee ’21 (100 Back), Anthony Minickiello ’20 (200 and 500 Free), Zack Peng ‘21 (diving), Neil Simpson ’19 (100 Free and 200 IM), Arnold Su ‘20 (50 and 100 Free), and Adam Vlasic ‘20 (200 Free and 100 Fly). Nearly everyone else was in position to score points, too, which led to a team: Andover (434), Exeter (335), Brunswick (312.5).
Of course, swimming and diving is about getting better, not winning, and the Andover team achieved success in multiple ways. Most impressive is that over the course of the Eastern and New England championships, Andover swimmers and divers participated in 40 different individual events and achieved personal bests in 37 of them!
While the season concluded in March, the accolades only stopped in June. Captain Nick Isenhower ’18 won three major awards. First, Nick was given the Press Award by the Athletic Department as the outstanding Male Athlete of the Year. Second, he was named one of four Athletes of the Year by The Phillipian. And most impressive, during the Commencement Exercises, Nick was one of only five students to receive an award: The Yale Bowl, "awarded to the member of the senior class who has attained the highest proficiency in scholarship and athletics." On hand to witness, Yale Bowl winner of 2014, Joe Faller.