In his first-ever cross country race, Giacomo Marino ’18 crossed the finish line with a time of 17:18 minutes to secure fourth out of 35 in the Northfield Mount Hermon Invitational. His fantastic race gave him the title of Andover Boys Cross Country’s top runner. A mere three seconds later, Captain Holden Ringer ’17 claimed fifth place overall, second for Andover.
Overall, Andover finished in second place out of five teams, narrowly losing to Loomis by just two points. The other teams included NMH, Kimball Union, and Cushing.
One of the most challenging courses in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council league, NMH’s course was a defining factor in the race. The course featured rigorous hills scattered throughout the area, making runners battle fatigue to finish their races. Although the course was difficult, Andover proved its strength with its second-place finish.
“The NMH course is a very hilly course. We’re going to see it again anyways, and I think the entire team handled it really well,” said Ringer.
Jacob Buehler ’19 said, “The terrain certainly tested us, but we’ve been training for this kind of difficult environment, and we’re experienced with hills. We’ve done a lot of hill sprints and running to get us prepared for the NMH course. Nobody can beat us in hills. We’re just as comfortable going upwards as downwards.
Buehler finished in sixth place with a time of 18:01 minutes, and teammate Nathan Goldthwaite ’18 followed closely behind to place seventh with a time of 18:06 minutes.
Newcomer Alex Fleury ’20 finished in 14th in his high-school debut. Rounding out the rest of the team, Sam Tobin ’18 and Spencer Davis ’18 sprinted shoulder-to-shoulder across the finish line with the same time of 18:38 minutes. Sebastian Bishop ’17 ran a 19:03, and Ethan Brown ’17 finished in 20:15.
Andover remains optimistic about the rest of its season and will continue to train diligently.
Head Coach Jeffrey Domina said, “I think [the race] gave us a lot of information about where individual runners are in their training, so that gives us a lot to work with as we train and plan for the races ahead. We have to keep racing, training hard, and working on fitness and speed, and bringing both of our packs closer together so that there isn’t much time between our first finisher and our fifth.”
Buehler added, “We’re really in the process of preparing and training for Exeter and Interschols, and this is really just a time to just shake out the legs and get back into the mentality of racing again. This race was no big deal, no stress. As the season progresses, new challenges will be coming in to test us. I believe the Class of 2018 is very strong. We just need to mature, and get faster and stronger. This year is going to be extremely strong, perhaps the strongest ever.”
Andover will travel away to challenge Choate this weekend.