CAMBRIDGE — Some teams would see the loss of 40 potential points as a hindrance. Marilyn Fitzgerald saw it as an opportunity.
When the aftereffects of the stomach flu took top seed Ashlee Korsberg out of her two individual events at yesterday’s Division 1 state championships, holding her only to relay competition, the Andover swimming coach didn’t panic.
“It’s an opportunity for someone to step up,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s the basis of what makes this team successful.”
Once again, the system worked as the Warriors pummeled the competition to win their fourth straight title.
Finishing with 428 points, Andover far outdistanced MVC rival and runner-up Chelmsford (282.5 points).
“The kids that had to make up Ashlee’s points, I look at it as if it were an opportunity for them to swim a personal best time, to move up a place,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s the thing that parents know when they entrust their daughters to us for the team, that they will get those opportunities.”
After jumping out to an early lead by winning the 200-yard medley relay, the Warriors showed the lengths they would go to triumph as, led by standout Maggie D’Innocenzo, finishing 1-2-4-6 in the 200 freestyle.
“The 200 free (result) was a bit of a surprise,” said D’Innocenzo, who also won the 100 breaststroke title. “There was a false start in the heat before so we had to start early. But getting in and winning the relay then doing well in the freestyle was awesome. The team was getting up and getting after it. It’s definitely the start we wanted.”
Ashlee Korsberg battled to help Andover win the 400 freestyle relay and place second in the 200 free relay, then the teamwork took over.
“I went all-out on my relay splits and everybody really stepped up,” said Korsberg.