Molly MacQueen ’21 led Andover Girls Cross Country with a fifth place finish out of 140 total runners with a time of 19:36 minutes at the 50th annual Women’s 5K Codfish Bowl in Franklin Park, Boston on Saturday. The team finished with an average time of 21:07.8 minutes, placing seventh out of 11 teams, including nine colleges, with a total score of 153 points. Phillips Exeter Academy also ran, finishing in third with a score of 110 points.
Rounding out Andover’s top seven were Alisa Creuger-Cain ’20 in 25th place; Lindsay Rosenberg ’19 in 40th place with a time of 21:29 minutes; Marguerite Montagner ’21 in 49th place with a time of 21:47 minutes; Abby Ryan ’21 in 51st place, with a time of 21:53 minutes, Tessa Conrardy ’20, in her first cross country race ever, in 53rd place with a time of 21:54 minutes; and Brooke Sanders ’19, in 73rd place with a time of 22:35 minutes.
Captain Rhea Chandran ’19 said, “[The] race wasn’t a traditional race, in the sense that we didn’t race a bunch of other prep schools. It was Codfish, so a lot of college teams were there, but we all finished really strong. All of our runners finished the race, which is really exciting, and it was just a fun race to get out there. Codfish is always super exciting because it’s one of our early races, and it’s not about the competition, it’s about the fun of running.”
Despite a challenging course including a narrow first quarter-mile, hill workouts had prepared the team well for the race, according to Chandran and Montagner.
Chandran said, “We did a lot of workouts on hills during early preseason, and there was one specific hill at Codfish that was pretty easy for most of the runners on the team, just because we had been used to running so many steeper and longer hills, so specifically those type of workouts really helped on shorter hills.”
Montagner added, “I think the most valuable thing we got from preseason for this race was confidence, because we did tough hill workouts. Franklin Park has a pretty hard hill in mile two which is a tough spot, but I know that we weren’t as intimated going in because we had ran some tough hills before.”
The team’s competitive attitude and tough mental focus allowed them to succeed, according to Head Coach Patrick Rielly and Rosenberg.
In an email to The Phillipian, Coach Rielly wrote, “The [Andover] runners ran strong races in a large field of competitive athletes that included college runners as well as high school runners. Everyone stayed focused and competitive.
Rosenberg added, “Everyone was kind of nervous because it was the first race of the season, but everybody went out there and gave it their all, and I think that was the most important part of it. We all worked really hard and we started off with some pretty good pack running, as well as mental fortitude throughout the race, finishing strong and being really competitive.”
Looking forward, Andover hopes to work on running together during races, especially as greater numbers of runners compete in meets.
“We’re going to work on deepening our pack running, or bringing our first runner and last runner times closer together. It’s something that always improves as the season goes on, and we’re really excited for our next couple races,” said Chandran.
Rielly said, “We’re just getting started, and we’re in an exciting place training-wise. We brought a small crew of runners to Franklin Park, but starting this weekend, more runners will be racing in meets. I think we’ll get stronger with every race.”
Between Andover’s first and seventh runner on Saturday, there was a 2:59-minute difference. At the Nepsta D1 Championships in 2017, this difference was only 1:54 minutes.
Andover will compete this Saturday at the Northfield Mount Hermon Invitational.