Crossing the finish line shoulder to shoulder, Captain Holden Ringer ’17 and Giacomo Marino ’18 both clocked in at a time of 17:05, securing first and second place for Andover Boys Cross Country. Claiming seven of the top ten finishes overall in a dominant performance as a unit, the team defeated St. Paul’s on Saturday with a score of 20-40, bringing its record to 2-0.
The entire team excelled on the course, with all runners finishing below 19:00 minutes despite the difficulty of the course.
Head Coach Jeffrey Domina said, “The St. Paul’s [race] can be tough. It’s not as hilly as the others we’ve raced on, but the terrain and composition make it very challenging. Despite this, there were a lot of other great individual races on Saturday. This allowed us to win as a team.”
Overall, the team ran at a fast pace. Jacob Buehler ’19, Basil Alfaro ’18, and Nathan Goldthwaite ’18 finished in 17:42, 18:27, and 18:31, respectively. Spencer Davis ’18 and Alex Fleury ’20 ran 18:32 and 18:39, respectively.
Andover’s control of the meet stemmed from one of its most efficient strategies: pack running.
Ringer said, “We run in packs and try to feed off of each other throughout the 5k, It’s more efficient for the team and it has led to positive results.”
Buhler added, “Pushing each other to get our personal bests as well as win the race has been our goal and we have been doing a lot of pack running to achieve this. Pack running has helped us to encourage cooperation in our racing sport.”
The team has also been trying to prioritize its own tactics rather than worrying about the opposition. Each member has worked on zoning in and performing his best on race days.
“We already know who we are running against, so we just have to go out there and compete,” said Ringer.
Buehler said, “We need to work on our pacing. We need to be more aware of where we should be at certain points in the race, like in the second mile we should be at a certain point. If we work on this, we will be great.”
Andover’s continual improvement has led to two wins in the season, and although the team has only raced three times, Andover is already thinking about major seasonal success.
Buehler said, “The team looks super strong this year. We have struggled with injuries this year, but if we continue to stay healthy, we can go all the way to Interschols.”
On Saturday, Andover will travel to Northfield Mount Hermon with the hope of securing a three-game winning streak and continuing its pursuit of the championship trophy.