Captain Giacomo Marino ’18, Alex Fleury ’20, and Spencer Davis ’18 swept the top three places in Andover Boys Cross Country’s meet at Deerfield Academy on Sunday, leading the team to a 19-38 win and maintaining its undefeated season.
The rain and wet grass caused problems at Deerfield’s course, but the team was still able to push through all the way until the end, according to Marino.
Marino said, “The team did really well despite the tough conditions that we hadn’t really experienced this season.”
Along with Marino, Fleury, and Davis, other top ten finishers included Nathan Goldthwaite ’18 in fifth, Harrison Wilson ’20 in eighth, and Sam Tobin ’18 in ninth, each finishing with times of 17:32 minutes, 17:49 minutes, and 17:50 minutes, respectively.
The weather and course conditions forced the team to change some of its running strategies. The wet ground led to poor footing for runners during the race, forcing them to pace slower than usual, according to Marino.
“The ground was really torn up in a few places, and the footing was overall pretty bad so we didn’t want to go out, too fast, as you use more energy than usual in that type of footing,” said Marino. “The rain made the fields so saturated that the flat grass fields made it more of a disadvantage, as almost everywhere was soaked.”
However, the tough conditions prepared the team by providing intense training for the Andover’s last race before Interschols, according to Head Coach Jeffrey Domina.
Coach Domina wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “It’s always good for the team to race on Deerfield’s relatively flat, grass-heavy course, but today it was especially good because we finally got to race in some inclement weather, which is important to the team’s training as we approach the end of the season. Plus, it’s really fun, and the guys did a great job.”
Despite having to make these changes, Andover’s maintained its other usual strategies of pack running and working to get a lead early on in the race, according to Marino.
“We gapped the competition early and worked together to come out with a win,” said Marino.
Moving forward, the team plans to continue practicing its pack running strategy and working to improve each of the runners’ individual times.
Marino said, “For [Phillips Exeter Academy], we need to continue to pack up and start getting our sixth and seventh runners in front of Exeter’s fifth runner.”
Andover hopes to maintain its undefeated record this weekend in a home meet against Exeter while also preparing for the upcoming Interschols.
Coach Domina said, “This week we’ll be training for our home meet with Exeter but keeping an eye on Interschols just one week later.”