Blue Track Races Past Colleges At USATF Harvard Invitational

The Big Blue Track team proved last weekend that they could dance with the big boys, as they took on several colleges, including Brown University, Wheaton College, Salem State, and Keene State, at the United States Association of Track and Field (USATF) invitational meet at Harvard University. Finishing off a season that was among the best in recent Andover history, both the Boys and Girls Track teams performed well enough in all events to make an impression on the field at the New England Indoor Championships. The Andover distance runners turned out some of the best performances during the day. Among the many athletes that Andover was competing against were two runners that broke 4:06 for the men’s mile. A miler from the U.S. Naval Academy and a runner from Brown University finished in 4:03 and 4:05, respectively. The competition was so fast that the top 30 runners cleared the 4:30 mark, with the top 14 all finishing under 4:20. The Blue truly had their competition set out for them last weekend. Unaffected by the presence of these older athletes, John Lanterman ’03 shattered his previous PR of 4:50, finishing with an impressive 4:47. Lanterman, placing 27th overall, was the first Andover runner to place in the mile among PA’s group of six runners in the event. Donais finished close behind at 28th, also setting a new PR, with a time of 4:49.98. Finishing third for Andover and 31st overall was Jon Weigel ’05, who also broke five minutes, crossing the line in 4:59.17. Dan Serna ’04, Jon Hillman ’05, and J.J. Feigenbaum ’04 rounded off an impressive overall performance for Andover’s distance squad. After a disappointing loss against Phillips Exeter Academy the previous Wednesday, the Lady Blue managed to finish their season off on a stellar note with speedy runs in the invitational. In the women’s one-mile run, Andover’s Celia Alexander ’04 and Alison Murphy ’05 represented the girls’ distance team. Alexander ran well, finishing under the six-minute mark, at 5:55.83. Murphy finished in a time of 6:08.29. Distance runners Lissie Robie ’04 and Rebecca Howe ’05 represented Andover in the women’s 800 meters run. Robie ran a strong race to break the time that she had anticipated, finishing in 2:27.22. Howe also ran well, crossing the line in a final time of 2:37.98. Captain Katie Dlesk ’03 led a very fast group of Andover girls competing in the 200-meter dash. Dlesk finished in a very impressive 26.70 seconds to place 13th overall, out of a field of 32 other athletes. Jackie Latina ’04 and Courtney McBride ’03 also performed well, running times of 27.24 seconds and 28.10 seconds, respectively. Sonia DeYoung ’05, with a time of 29.10, and Cassie Tognoni ’05, with a time of 29.37, capped off a great performance by the sprinters. Shot putter Erin O’Hern ’03 threw for a whopping 31’ 8.” Dlesk was the only Andover athlete to “triple” in Sunday’s USATF meet. After running the 200-meter dash, Dlesk ran an amazing 57.21 in the 400-meter run to finish in the highest spot of any Andover athlete, placing second overall. McBride also competed in the 400, running a quick 1:02.45 to finish 12th overall. Sprinters Dlesk, McBride, Tognoni, and Latina made up a 4x 440 meter relay team that beat out Choate’s squad by more than ten seconds, crossing the line in a time of 4:21.51. Andover had two boys competing in the men’s 800-meter run. Chimaobi Izeogu ’04 ran a smart race, holding off eight other runners to finish in 2:07.88 and 29th overall. Fighting off a cold, Adam Kapor ’04 also ran well, finishing in 2:08.16. Captain Peter Chiu ’03 had a great day at Harvard, jumping for a 19’ mark in the men’s long jump – an accomplishment that placed him at 11th place overall. With David Sheldon ’04, Lee Rattigan ’03, and O’Shea Galan ’04 unable to compete, Warner Robinson ’04 was Andover’s lone sprinter in the 60-meter dash. Robinson rose to the challenge, running a time of 7.65 seconds to finish third in his heat. Matt Longley ’04, Andover’s only pole-vaulter at Harvard on Sunday, placed tenth overall in the men’s pole vault with a mark of 10’ 6” even. Sunday’s USATF meet proved to be a satisfying end to two amazing seasons. The Girls Track team, led by Captain Dlesk, finished up a solid year. The Boys Track team, led by Captain Chiu, finished the season undefeated. Both teams voted for captains on Tuesday, the girls electing Latina and the boys picking Sheldon for the 2003-2004 indoor season. In an exciting development, the Girls 4×200 team, of Dlesk, McBride, Latina and Anne Riordan ’03 qualified for American Indoor High School Nationals.