Andover Track & Field (PATF) squared off against rival Phillips Exeter Academy in a thriller on Saturday. The last meet of the season, as well as the storied career of Head Coach Corbin Lang, was marked by succes. Lang is stepping down from the coaching position at the end of this spring.
The Girls team squeaked out a victory, winning 73-72 in a memorable finish to a flawless 4-0 regular season.
“Even though we beat Exeter at Interschols, we went in to the dual meet knowing that nothing was guaranteed. It was a hard fought win and very much a team effort. Everybody had such a strong desire to win and to finish our season strong, and they showed that in their performances,” wrote Co-Captain Charlie Jarvis ’15 in an email to The Phillipian.
Jarvis notched three victories throughout the meet, placing first in both the 4×100 and 4×400 Relays (51.0 and 4:06.8), as well as the 100-Meter dash with a time of 12.9. Jarvis closed out an excellent season with a commanding performance.
“It was my last meet running with PATF, and I really just gave every event my all. The meet ended up coming down to the 4×400-Meter Relay, and it was nice to be able to run the last leg of the relay as I had watched so many Captains before me do. Running that last lap around the track to finish the 4×400-Meter Relay was a very surreal moment. Our success this season has been such a collective effort, and it’s nice that all the focus, support and dedication that every member has shown really did pay off,” said Jarvis.
Caroline Shipley ’16 also proved triumphant in three events, winning both relays alongside Jarvis and the 400-Meter with a time of 60.9. Returning as a Senior next year, she will be instrumental in Andover’s success.
Shipley wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “While every track season so far has been great, this one was especially exciting because of the improvement and determination. By the end of the season, everyone was performing at their absolute best, and that’s so much fun to be a part of. This weekend we demonstrated this perfectly, pulling off a one-point win over Exeter, even after losing some of our strongest athletes to injuries.”
The Boys team fell to Exeter 95-44, yet saw potential throughout the meet.
John Gorton ’15 capped off an impressive season with another win in the 3000-Meter, finishing with a time of 9:12.6. Gorton has left his mark on the team throughout an impressive season.
He said, “When I imagined my final race with PATF, I certainly did not imagine being carted away from the Exeter track by ambulance or spending the night in Isham, but nevertheless, those things did happen. And although the hours after my race were rough, I am satisfied that I gave all I had to give on Saturday and performed well in my last race at Andover.”
Noah Ward ’17 had a record-breaking day, placing second in the Shot Put with a throw of 50’ 01.5”, and more notably, winning the Discus to break the Lower class record at Andover with an astounding throw of 153’ 03”. Ward now holds the Lower class records for both Shot Put and Discus.
Ward wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “It was a tough meet against Exeter, and they had a lot of depth with their throwers. I had a pretty good day in both events, but particularly in [Discus].”
Both teams look to have returning athletes that can make an impact on next year to work to fill in the shoes of the valuable runners it will graduate.
Another loss that will hit the team next year is the departure of Lang from his 18-year career of coaching at Andover. He coached Andover to a combined 16 New England Prep School Track Association Division 1 titles, 12 of them when he was Head Coach. Concluding the meet, an emotional Lang was hoisted onto the team’s shoulders.
Jarvis said, “After the meet, the team was all so happy that we lifted Coach Lang in the air, in celebration of such a great season and of winning the last meet he will ever have the opportunity to coach.”
Lang said to his team, “I am so fortunate that all of you are part of my life.”