Despite strong performances from Andover’s first finisher Marguerite Montagner ’21 and others, Deerfield beat Andover 23-33 in its final home meet of the season. This is the team’s first loss of the year, and its record now stands at 4-1.
Andover has been hampered by injuries recently. Montagner, who was recovering from an injury at the beginning of the season, worked hard to finish at the front of the group, according to Natasha Muromcew ’22.
“[Montagner] did amazing. I know that she had some injuries towards the beginning of the season but these past couple weeks she’s had amazing recovery and she’s really had a comeback. I know that earlier races [she was] not where she wanted to be but right now, she’s really doing a lot better. She’s really where she wants to be now,” said Muromcew.
Muromcew also came back from an injury to run, placing second out of all the Andover runners.
“I think Natasha’s performance really stood out because I know she’d been out for a little while because of an injury but she came back and she had a really great time. She had a really smart race and I just think that she had a really great day,” said Montagner.
There were several other runners in Sunday’s meet who had recently come back from injuries, including Celia Egler ’19, who came back from an injury sustained last spring to participate in the last home meet of her Andover career.
Head Coach Patrick Rielly said, “I was really proud of [Egler,] who had a pretty bad injury in spring track last year and has worked so hard, for months, for yesterday. To be on the lawn for her last home meet as a Senior in cross country, a four-year runner. I was so proud of her — to me that was the highlight of the meet. She ran so well.”
According to Rielly, the team gained motivation from the positive energy coming from the sidelines.
“People who weren’t competing… all came out and supported their teammates. It was a really great showing of what makes Girls Cross Country strong, both the competition in the race and the support on the sidelines,” said Coach Rielly.
Sunday’s meet was the last home meet of the season, and the last time that several Seniors will be able to race on Andover’s home course.
Captain Rhea Chandran ’19 said, “For me, it was my last home meet after four years of running on Andover’s Girls Cross Country team. That was a highlight for me, just to finish out four years in that course.”
Leading up to the meet, most of the training was focused on the home course and preparing for the two final meets, according to Coach Rielly.
“We worked on a little more speed this week in anticipation for [Phillips Exeter Academy] and Interschols, which are both flat courses… in relation to yesterday’s meet, we worked really hard on knowing the course. I think one of the biggest advantages of cross country is knowing your home course…our runners knew the course as best they could,” Coach Rielly said.
Chandran added, “We had a couple girls injured so they were resting…we’re excited to get them back and have a full team when we race Exeter on next Saturday.”
This Saturday, Andover will race at Exeter.