Battling Phillips Exeter Academy’s number two runner, Captain Holden Ringer ’17 and Giacomo Marino ’18 watched with dejection as their competitor stretched his lead across the final stretch of the race. Although the top two Andover runners made a final push, they eventually fell short, placing third and fourth, respectively. Exeter went on to hand Andover its first loss of the season on Saturday, ending the race with a score of 26-31. The team’s record now stands at 4-1.
Despite the disappointing loss, Andover displayed its depth as a team. Jacob Buehler ’19, Alex Fleury ’20, Nathan Goldthwaite ’18, Sam Tobin ’17, Max Yang ’20, and Spencer Davis ’18, took seventh through twelfth place, respectively.
Buehler said, “Exeter was able to defeat us because they ran a fast, smart race against us. Using a fast, aggressive first mile, they were able to establish a lead over a lot of our guys, and we were unable to close that gap over the course of the race.”
A crucial reason why Andover fell short this week was overtraining.
Buehler said, “We ran at Exeter only after a very hard week of training, including two very hard workouts. As a result, we ran tired on Saturday, and we should be able to run much faster at Interschols this Saturday. We lost the race because we didn’t run to our strengths. We’re going to make big changes to our strategy on Saturday, so that we can make the best use of our strengths over Exeter and bring home a victory.”
The team is incorporating a plethora of strategies in preparation for the championship meet, Interschols.
Head Coach Jeffrey Domina said, “This week we’re tapering a bit, taking care of ourselves, and feeling fast. All the runners are doing their best to stay focused on a great race at Interschols.”
The runners are also prioritizing their diet to obtain the best results.
Anthony Minickiello ’20 said, “I’ll make sure that my eating and drinking is in check for Interschols. Everything else will hopefully fall into place after the taper.”
At Interschols, Andover hopes to maintain its pack-running technique that it has employed successfully throughout the season.
“If we use pack running to our advantage and get more runners out front together, we can really do some damage to the top teams at Interschols,” said Tobin.
Yang said, “I wish to contribute to the team by just keeping up with the pack at Interschols, which motivates both me and my teammates to keep a steady pace.”
This weekend, Andover looks toward the Interschols race and the New England title. The team hopes to bring home the first boys championship since 2013.