Andover Girls Indoor Track and Field finished off its season last year with a narrow 48-47 win over rival Phillips Exeter Academy and a strong performance at the U.S.A.T.F. meet at Harvard University. Despite losing many impactful Senior runners, Andover believes the potential of returning runners and newcomers will propel the team to another successful season.
Captain Sidney Holder ’17 said, “The girls team has doubled from last year to this year. This excites me because we had some events we could not compete in because we did not have the numbers. With so many new girls, we can now fill in gaps that we could not before. In general, we have many promising underclassmen who can hold their own in the junior meet later in the season.”
Jo Caico ’19 said, “After the loss of last year’s Seniors, we weren’t sure what was going to happen success-wise this year. Some of last year’s Seniors were [Caroline Shipley ’16], [Olivia LaMarche ’16], and of course our great captains, [Camille Little ’16] and [Andrew Wang ’16]. These Seniors would guarantee first in their races, but after our first practice today I’ve seen all the potential in the new kids, so I think we’re going to do great this season.”
Although Andover’s overarching goal is always to win its races throughout the season, its main focus right now is to stay healthy and train hard throughout the season in order to keep improving and to be at its best towards the end of the season.
Holder said, “This season is all about getting fit. Winter Track is the first term of two for most of our athletes, so we are focusing on the long term and improving while staying healthy.”
“The main goal for the first meet is to get everybody through healthy, because we haven’t had that much time to practice and we only have seven more practices before the meet,” said Assistant Coach Althea Johnson.
Assistant Coach Kurt Prescott, new to Andover Track, specializes in training the jumpers. Prescott was first impressed by the leadership and athleticism of the upperclassmen on the team.
Prescott said, “Our captain, Sidney Holder, has shown some excellent leadership in the early going, setting the tone well for the rest of the team. Sidney also broke the Upper record in the long jump last winter, so she has her sights set on breaking the school record in said event in the coming season.”
“Another athlete to watch is Samantha Valentine [’17], who won the New England title in Cross-Country this past fall,” added Prescott.
Head Coach Rebecca Hession hopes to emphasize the core values of Andover Track that have brought the team success in past years.
Hession said, “We strive to build community, improve general strength, speed, power, and mobility, provide opportunities to compete in meets and have fun as a team.”
Andover heads into the season with large numbers, great leaders, and promising newcomers. Its first meet of the season is home against Governor’s and Wilbraham & Monson this Saturday.