Although only in his second year at Andover, Alex Fleury ’20 has proved to be a crucial member of the Andover Boys Cross Country team, with his consistent top finishes and positive attitude. Fleury began running competitively in sixth grade on the North Andover Middle School track team, while still playing soccer. In eighth grade, Fleury made the switch to cross country.
In his Junior year at Andover, Fleury was a tri-varsity athlete and had an impressive year on the Boys Cross Country team, as well as on the Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field teams. Fleury attended the New Balance Nationals for ninth graders in both the winter and spring last year. In the spring, Fleury placed sixth with a time of 4:29 minutes in the one-mile race, receiving the title of Freshman All-American. Fleury’s success was an exciting moment for the entire Andover team, who watched him compete at the national race all the way from home.
“The entire cross country team and distance squad was watching the live stream on the New Balance Nationals website, and we were all going wild. Watching Fleury move up on the leader’s shoulder with 200 meters to go was probably one of the most exciting moments I remember in [Andover cross country] history,” said Jacob Buehler ’19.
This year, Fleury has continued his success on the cross country team, using his speed from track to pass other runners at the end of the race with a burst, according to Buehler.
“Fleury relies on his speed to finish races well. He has a great final sprint which allows him to pull away at the end of his races. At the New Balance Nationals Outdoor Championships this June, for instance, he used his final sprint to make an aggressive move toward the leader during the final lap of the Freshman Mile,” said Buehler.
Fleury is known not only for his impressive speed but also for his optimistic attitude, constant encouragement, and dedication to the sport, according to his teammates.
Harrison Wilson ’20 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “Alex as a teammate is overall an extremely dedicated cross country runner and supports everyone on the team. Whether it be words of encouragement during a workout or talking about race strategy, he always offers his own advice to others.”
“The [cross country] team environment is pretty relaxing overall, and Alex adds to this environment, usually joking around before practice. Keeping it pretty stress-free allows the team to not overthink an upcoming workout or run, making it so we can focus very intensely when we need to during the workout,” said Wilson.
Jake DiAdamo ’21 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “The only way to describe Alex as a runner would be extremely dedicated. He’s willing to put in the work and it shows when he races. As a teammate, Alex seems very humble. He never puts other runners down for not being as fast. Something he adds to the environment [of the team] is a sense of work ethic. Alex makes everyone on the team want to be better.”
Buehler said, “Fleury is very optimistic and brings a great positive attitude to practice. He’s a great influence for the team and I think he adds an intense drive to succeed as well as inspires us to succeed as well. Even as a Lower, he’s already proven himself to be an irreplaceable member of the team, both from a scoring standpoint and from a community standpoint.”
Fleury credits Captain Giacomo Marino ’18 for being a source of inspiration to him and pushing him to train harder, to improve as a runner.
Fleury said, “Giacomo is always putting in work and is such a good role model and athlete. That is inspiring for me, but I also want to be just as good as him. It is going to be hard to fill his shoes when he leaves next year, but I am going to do my best to do that… He inspires me to have a passion for the sport like he does and to be dedicated like he is to push himself.”
With Fleury as one of its top runners, Andover is hopeful for a successful remainder of the season.