Boys in Blue Dominate Boosters Meet in Interscholastic Tune-Up

When the dust finally settled, Andover Boys Track had triumphed over 15 other high schools, representing some of the best teams in northern Massachusetts. Powering the Boys in Blue, O’Shea Galan ’04 put on quite the one-man show, winning the 100 meter dash, placing fourth overall in the high jump, and anchoring the winning 4 x 100 meter relay team. Galan’s 100 meter preliminary time of 11.46 seconds put him in second place going into the finals. In the final heat, racing against the best sprinters in the Merrimack Valley area, Galan flew out of the blocks to take first in the event with a final time of 11.35 seconds. Galan followed up this feat by clearing a mark of 5’10”to place fourth in the high jump. Kanyi Maquebela ’03, competing for only his second time this season, gave the Andover boys a crucial 10 points with his victory in the triple jump. With a hop, skip, and a jump, Maquebela traveled an impressive 42’9” to take the event. Since his return, Maquebela has added strength to an otherwise lacking group of triple jumpers and should be a threat to the individual title at Interschols. In the 200 meters, Andover’s David Sheldon ’04 qualified for the finals with a quick time of 23.95 in the preliminaries. Sheldon went on to run a 23.47 in the final heat to place third overall and only a hair behind the second place runner. Fellow sprinter Elias Feghali ’05, who placed 14th in the 200 meters on Saturday, commented on the day’s times, saying, “It’s sort of weird, between the wind and the automatic timing, something’s up with the times.” Josh Wolfe ’04 ran a strong 800 meters in his first race of the day. After leading the race until the final 100 meters, Wolfe dropped to third, crossing the line in 1:59.16. Wolfe ran a second 800 meters later that day, anchoring Andover’s 4 x 800 meters relay. Adam Kapor ’04, who also ran a leg of the relay, finished just outside of the scoring in the open 800 in 2:05. On the final leg of the relay, Wolfe took the stick from Kapor down nearly 60 meters back from Andover High School’s Phil Shaw. The home crowd at AHS doubted Wolfe had the leg power to catch their ace, but Wolfe proved them wrong, closing the gap and passing Shaw with nearly a lap to go. Unfortunately, Wolfe could not hold on, and Shaw regained the lead in the final 40 meters. In the end, Andover finished in second in the relay, despite legs slower than they would have liked from Captain Chimaobi Izeagu ’03, Jack McCallum ’03, Kapor, and in what frosh runner Sean Hamilton called, “a gusty leg” by Wolfe. Runners McCallum and John Lanterman ’03 placed sixth and seventh in the one mile on Saturday. Lining up against some extremely fast runners, McCallum and Lanterman held their own, finishing in 4:40.4 and 4:44.13, respectively. With the two mile starting nearly 30 minutes earlier than planned, JJ Feigenbaum ’04 and Chris Donais ’05 were unable to complete most of their warm-up routine and toed the line unprepared. “When the announcer made the third call,” Feigenbaum recollected, “Chris and I had barely started our warmup. We had to stretch on the starting line and use the first lap to warm up for the race.” Nevertheless, Feigenbaum competed well and finished the race 11th overall, with a time of 10:38. Donais followed with in 10:41 and 13th place. Likewise, Andover’s throwers were also forced to make the best of a bad situation. After one flight had already occurred, javelin officials began checking for specially marked javelins. Without these competition-marked javelins, Andover’s throwers were forced to borrow javelins from another team. Consequently, Andover’s Jeff Pena ’04 and Jonathan Dent ’05 performed below their normal abilities, placing 11th and 10th, respectively. Rounding out a strong day for the throwers, Justin Loffredo ’03 grabbed fifth in the discus and Anwell Lanfranco ’04 placed third in the shot put with a toss of 49’ even. Clearing a mark of 11’, a mark of equal height to that of the first place finisher’s vault, Matt Longley ’03 placed second in the pole vault. The hurdling squad had a rough day at the Boosters meet. Sam DuPont ’04 placed 14th overall in the 300 meter hurdles, finishing in 45.96 seconds. Even worse were Eliot Beck ’05 and Jeff Zhou ’06, who did not even have the chance to compete, as they missed their race. Knef King ’04 and Kojo Degraft-Hanson ’05 represented Andover in the 400 meters. King placed fourth overall in the event with an impressive time of 53.23 seconds and Degraft-Hanson placed 13th overall, running a 55.09. With the dominating finish at Boosters, the boys are set to head to Northfield Mount Hermon for Interschols and make a run at an astonishing third straight interscholastic championship. NMH, Loomis and surprising Hotchkiss stand as the biggest threats to the boys’ crown. The boys know they have the speed, strength and endurance to carry them to glory at NMH, but still have to go out and prove it.