Six of Andover Girls Cross Country’s seven Varsity runners set new season records against Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) on Saturday, securing a near perfect score of 15-48 and upholding the team’s undefeated streak. The race was a particular triumph for the team overall, as Andover’s top six runners claimed the top six places.
“This week we wanted to sweep, which was a really exciting goal to accomplish,” said Grace Rademacher ’18.
Andover’s top three runners performed especially well. Leading runner Carmen Bango ’16 set the tone of the race, taking first place with a time of 18:29 and beating her season record by nine seconds. In second place, Michaela Jones ’18 trailed just four seconds behind Bango, trumping her own season record by a whopping 23 seconds with a time of 18:33. Marina Hunt ’17 came in third with a time of 19:34, beating her season record by 17 seconds.
The girls prepared for the race by holding brutal practices the week before. They drove off-campus to practice running on steep hills. Despite the difficulty of the week’s training, the workout translated well into the race on Saturday, helping the team power through Heartbreak Hill, a notorious hill on Andover’s home course.
Parker Tope ’16 said, “We did a pretty insane hill workout on Weir Hill the Tuesday before the race, which I think really [prepared] us for our own course. Everyone was so exhausted, and honestly I don’t know how we completed the workout, but we worked it as a team, worked through the pain and just translated that mental state to our race.”
Hunt said, “We built up our strength and were prepared to run the hills on our course, which are all comparably smaller than the one we ran during the workout [on Tuesday]. It was especially amazing to see so many team members beat their [records] this week because a lot of us were still feeling sore from the Tuesday workout, and we were worried that the soreness would work against us in the race, so it was pretty surprising and an awesome feeling when we finished the race with so many personal successes.”
Next week, Captain Peyton McGovern ’16 will return from a back injury.
Tope said, “We’re looking forward to having our number three runner and Captain Peyton McGovern race this Saturday. She’s been injured, but [is] still leading our team through hard fought wins, and we’re just so excited to see our fearless leader come back out and race with us.”
McGovern said, “I’m super excited to get back and also a bit nervous. My goal is definitely to finish the race just feeling strong and healthy. I don’t have a particular time goal, especially because I have been out for a while, but I’m just so excited to be back out there racing with my team.”
Andover will travel to Deerfield to compete in its third-to-last race of the season on Saturday.