Exeter swimmers set records at Easterns

Many records and All-American performances powered Exeter swimming to a fourth-place finish at the premier prep meet in the country.

Brian Muldoon
February 19, 2023
Phillips Exeter Academy Swimming

Andrew Van De Water '23, Michael Yang '24, Patrick McCann '23 and Zach Quitkin '23 pose after medaling in the 200 freestyle relay. 

Exeter swimming delivered quite a performance at the Eastern Interscholastic Swimming & Diving Championships at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, this past weekend. Big Red girls claimed fifth place overall and the boys finished sixth, while Exeter’s combined score of 777 points placed them fourth overall against some of the top competition from around the country.

“Easterns is the premier prep school meet in the country,” said girls head coach Nicole Benson. “This is a great way to kick off our championship season and provide opportunities to our swimmers to compete amongst the best.”

“The energy at Easterns always bring out the best in our swimmers, and the entire experience brings us closer as a team,” continued boys head coach Don Mills. “The meet was full of exceptional swims from all of our athletes.”

Big Red got to work re-setting the record books immediately on the first day of competition. Mena Boardman ’26, Audrey Zhang ‘24, Brianna Cong ’25 and Sophie Phelps ’25 teamed up to post a school record while earning All-American status in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:43.66.

Boardman then went on to claim first overall in the 50 freestyle, posting a school record and earning All-American status in the process with a time of 22.94.

Brianna Cong made a splash and finished second overall in the 100 butterfly with a time of 55.02.
On the boys side, Ethan Guo ‘25, Henry Liu ‘23, Lang Gou ‘25 and Rudd Day ‘25 placed fifth in the medley relay with an All-American time of 1:32.62 before Andrew Van De Water ‘23, Zach Quitkin ‘23, Michael Yang ‘24 and Patrick McCann ‘23 took fifth place in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:28.15.

Guo earned a seventh-place finish in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:42.16, while Day swam to an eighth-place finish in the 50 free with a time of 21.55. Gou wrapped up day one with a seventh-place swim in the 100 butterfly with a time of 50.71.

Day 2 of competition was much of the same as Boardman kicked off the day with a school record swim and third-place finish in the 100 freestyle with a time of 50.42.

Sophie Phelps followed by breaking her own school record in the 500 freestyle when she touched the wall at 4:58.61, claiming fourth place overall. Cong also broke one of her own school records in the 100 backstroke with a time of 55.84, good enough for fifth place.

The girls wrapped up the competition with one more record-breaking performance as Phelps, Cong, Zhang and Boardman teamed up to set a school mark in the 400 freestyle, claiming second place with a time of 3:27.59.

Guo led the efforts on the boys side on Day 2, winning the 100 backstroke with a time of 49.75. Henry Liu added a second-place finish in the 100 breaststroke, coming in at 55.53.

Big Red has two big meets left on their 2022-23 campaign as they will travel to battle Andover on Feb. 22 before competing at the New England Championships on March 4-5.