Boys Track Tests Waters At Harvard Invitational

It is not every day that Andover students get a chance to compete against, and also defeat, the college athletes that they are training to become. This past Sunday, at Harvard University, the Boys’ Track Team did just that. While others might have been easily intimidated, Andover’s track team, the only high school team in attendance, was eager to see how they stacked up against the big boys. Unfazed by the prospect of competing against far more experienced runners, Andover’s distance team definitely showed up at Harvard to do one thing. Compete. The largest group of Andover athletes ran in heat 2 of the men’s one mile run. Adam Kapor ’04 led the way with a 4:50.76, finishing in 17th place. John Freker ’04 finished right on his heels with a time of 4:50.91 and 18th place. Chris Lanterman ’03 placed 23rd with a time of 4:56.72. Lanterman was the third Andover runner to break five minutes in the mile. Dan Serna ’04 and John Weigel ’05 also finished within the top 30. Weston Howe ’05 rounded off an impressive distance team performance by placing 34th and beating out two students from Hartwick College by more than 14 seconds. J.J. Feigenbaum ’04 and Chris Donais ’05 found themselves in the longest event of the day, the 3000 meters. Donais finished with an impressive time of 9:56. Fighting off a cold, Feigenbaum managed to place just behind Donais, in front of numerous college runners. The boys’ 4 x 880 yards relay team of Kapor, Piotr Brzezinski ’03, Chimaobi Izeogu ’03, and Jon Hillman ’05, ran in one of the hardest races of the day. Brzezinski ran the fastest split of the group with an impressive time of 2:01. At Dartmouth, the boys’ 4 x 800 meter relay team ran a time of 8:25 to place 4th overall and earn Andover its only points of the meet. Running less than 5 seconds slower, with a time of 8:29, the 4 x 880 yards relay team placed 8th out of 9 teams. Had the Big Blue run the same time as they had at Dartmouth at the Harvard meet, the distance relay squad would have only improved their place by only one spot. In an attempt to inspire his fellow teammates, Captain Peter Chiu ’03 put on one of Andover’s best performances of the day, finishing among the top long jumpers in the meet. In the first heat, Chiu jumped for 19’ 4 1/4” in a dead tie for second. With his mark of 19’ 4 1/4” Chiu tied for 7th overall, finishing just one spot short of qualifying for the finals. If Chiu had qualified and matched his first jump, he would have placed 6th overall. Andover’s utility man, David Sheldon ’04 did triple duty for Andover, running the 60 meters and the 200 meters as well as participating in the long jump. Sheldon ran a respectable time of 7.52 seconds in the 60 and quick 24.37 for the 200 meters. As if that were not enough, Sheldon leaped for a mark of 18’ 8” in the long jump. Following Sheldon’s example, every sprinter on the boys’ team competed in at least two events, showcasing the versatility of Andover’s sprinting squad. Lee Rattigan ’03 led the sprinters with a blistering 7.24 in the 60 meters, taking fourth place in his heat, and a 200 meters time of 23.70 seconds. O’Shea Galan ’04 followed with a 60 meter time of 7.32. Galan also ran the 200 meters in 24.48 to earn third place in his heat. Despite the overpowering number of significantly older athletes, Andover still made its presence known. In heat 4 of the 200 meter preliminaries, Andover sprinters Rattigan, Sheldon, and Martin Quinones ’04 finished second, third, and fourth, in that order. Quinones also jumped for a mark of 17’ 08”. Matt Longley ’03 improved on his already quick 400 meter time from last meet’s Dartmouth invitational. The boys’ 4 x 440 yards relay team of Rattigan, Sheldon, Serna and Quinones ran a respectable time of 3:49.67, but still placed last overall. In the end, Andover was well represented and the Big Blue proved capable of competing at an elite level. Now having run on Harvard’s top of the line track against more developed athletes, the Andover tracksters will look to use their newly gained experience against Andover High School this Saturday.