Lady Blue Harriers Speed Past Brooks and Tyngsboro in Opener

After months of summer training, the Andover Girls Cross Country were ready to finally put their speed to the test in an early-season scrimmage against Brooks and Tyngsboro. The girls crossed the finish line at the end of their grueling 5k to beat both Tynsboro 13-26 and Brooks 20-42 in a three-team meet. The course, which spans just over three miles brings the girls around the Great Lawn, behind the Chapel, through the full Sanctuary loop, and back to the lawn for the finish. Since the course is long and hilly, times are slower than those run at our rivals’ courses. Wednesday’s times were nevertheless incredible for being so early in the season and the fact that the girls were told to tone down their races to prepare for Saturday’s race big race at Canterbury. The top Brooks runner took off early, and came in with a dominating win. Tyngsboro followed with two runners in second and third place, but after that, it was all Andover. Lissy Robie ’04 crossed the finish line fourth with a time of 21:30. Immediately following Robie was the rest of the Andover top four, starting with fifth place finisher Anne Sharp ’05. Sharp was next off the course with a time of 21:43. Katharine Adams ’06 and Captain Hoppy Maffione ’04 came in together with times of 21:59 and 22:01, respectively, to bring in sixth and seventh places. Finishing out the top five was new runner Katie Morris ’07, with a time of 22:09 in ninth place. Coach Nancy Lang was also impressed with the runners and remained positive about the season. “After the race, I saw a lot of emotion on the girls’ faces,” she said. “Most people were really excited about their times, but even the few that were disappointed really cared about the race and its outcome. With that sort of focus and emotion put into the races, I really think we can improve a lot as a team.” The girls used the race, or what Coach Lang referred to as “a time trial with guests to push you,” to get a good baseline time for their early season. Sharp said, “I think that if today is a sign of things to come, then we’re going to be awesome. It was a good way to get acquainted with the course. It was the first time that I really enjoyed a home race.” Other runners include Alison Murphy ’05 and Courtney Blackwell ’06 who came in at 22:11 and 22:17, respectively, but were separated by a lone Tyngsboro runner and crossed the line at tenth and 12th place finishes overall. Catalina McCallum followed with a time of 24:15 with still more Andover runners pouring in over the finish. Leading runner Robie explained the success of the race, “We had some really good competition today, and the team really responded to the other runners. It was also a first race for a lot of people, and we people can only get better from there. Next week, when we get to Canterbury it will be interesting to see how the team responds to even more competition.”