Andover opens title defense in swimming

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Andover coach Marilyn Fitzgerald has been coaching long enough — 23 years by her estimate — that she knows there’s a long way between September and the MIAA state swim championships in November.

Andover won its opener Friday, beating visiting Notre Dame of Tyngsboro, 96-79, but the score didn’t change Fitzgerald’s opinion of her team, which won its 13th state title in 14 years last fall. Gone are five All-Scholastic swimmers, four of whom swam on the Golden Warriors’ state champion 200 medley and 400 free relay teams. By Fitzgerald’s math, Andover graduated 14 seniors that accounted for 246 of the team’s 428 points at the state meet.

“I’m always optimistic but I’m also realistic,” said Fitzgerald. “You’re always looking over your shoulder.”

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