Holden Ringer ’17 and Henry Spritz ’19 tag-teamed their way past a Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) runner last Saturday, motivating each other across the Great Lawn’s uphill course to claim third and fourth place, respectively. The final score of the meet revealed a narrow 34-23 loss for Andover Boys Cross Country, shifting its record to 2-2.
NMH is one of the top teams in New England, and its team typically consists of multiple Post-Graduate (PG) runners. This year, NMH’s star runner, Ace McAlister ’16, tied Andover’s course record with a time of 15:40. Andover alumnus Pablo Durana ’02 set the record nearly 14 years ago.
Andover welcomed the challenge, competing in good spirits.
Captain Ralph Skinner ’16 said, “It was great to see NMH produce such a strong performance, and it was awesome to watch their PG Ace McAlister tie the Andover record.”
Runners from both teams emerged from the start of the race at rapid paces, attempting to edge out the other. Although race conditions were optimal and Andover was racing on a familiar home course, it struggled to overcome NMH’s raw talent.
The home race’s energy was heightened by the large crowd of spectators gathered to watch due to Andover’s Family Weekend. 23 of Andover’s runners set new personal records (PR) across the Varsity and Junior Varsity rosters. Ringer led the Andover pack with a time of 16:37. Spritz finished close behind him with a time of 16:39 to break his PR by a whopping 50 seconds.
Patrick Dolan ’16 and Noah Belser ’16 ran an 18:11 and 18:19, respectively. Tevis Vitale ’16 ran in 19:14 and JongHo Park ’16 finished in 20:32.
Skinner said, “Despite the loss, I think there are plenty of positive takeaways from the race. Countless runners set personal records on Saturday, indubitably spurred on by the large crowd at Family Weekend. It’s always great to receive support as an athlete, but especially towards the end of an exhausting cross country race.”
Head Coach Patrick Rielly added, “We had a great day on Saturday. Family Weekend always provides a little extra motivation to run fast. Our runners competed hard against a strong NMH team, and the 23 PRs we had as a team on Saturday reflect the effort and dedication our Varsity and JV runners have shown in the last two weeks. They’re ready for more big races in the coming weeks as we approach the New English Championships.”
Skinner said, “There is a lot to look forward to this weekend against Deerfield, and I think we are beginning to step it up at the right time.”
With a tight record of 2-2, Andover will race against Deerfield next Saturday.