Exeter Big Red Outraces PA XC, Boys Look For Revenge at ’Schols

Every year the Andover and Exeter Varsity Cross Country squads face off for the second most important meet of the season: with only one race to go, each team does its best to prove their dominance against their arch rivals. Both teams have the opportunity to go into Interschols the victors of the rivalry, and Exeter took the cake this time around, with a convincing win, 23-32. Andover’s varsity just fell apart. Starting off fast, everyone worked to hold their planned spots, but the fast start took too much out of the team, and only Ben Bramhall ’07 and Justin Lee ’06 were able to mount decent kicks for the final great lawn loop. Even Josh Wolfe ’04, the Boys in Blue’s Canadian frontrunner, could not escape unscathed. He lost the lead in the last mile, and fell back a full 14 seconds to finish in a disappointing 16:08. The loss in the front was a sign of things to come, and the Andover harriers could not hold their nemesis off. Exeter ran a remarkable race. Senior Harry Norton shocked the Andover crowd with his strong win, and clocked an impressive 15:54. Next in for the Red was upper Arno Ferguson, who came in only eight seconds behind Wolfe, gaining considerable distance in the final stretches of the race. Exeter’s intended third runner dropped out after less than a mile in, and had he continued the loss would have been even more pronounced. Co-captain Adam Kapor ’04 is confident that the team will work out the kinks for Saturday’s Interschols. Said Kapor, “We’ve shown that we have the goods this year. We’ve shown in our previous races that each guy in our top 7 is capable of running the race that needs to be run for our team to win. If Josh and the next pack can run as well as each one of us has run at least once during the season, we’ll come back in a week and win New Englands. Quite simply, our losing to Exeter will shock us into running faster.” The Andover JV squad fared much better their varsity teammates against their red foes, wrapping up their undefeated season with a strong victory over Exeter. This victory takes on an even better shape when you consider that Exeter ran only seven to Andover’s ten in the varsity heat. Andover defeated Exeter’s 8-14 runners with their 11-16 runners. The boys approached the line with the taste of blood in their mouths from seeing Exeter’s victory in the varsity, and were resolute to avenge their teammates’ loss. Around the great Lawn, a large pack formed consisting primarily of Andover harriers, later joined by two of the foe. By the time the harriers entered the sanctuary, the Andover pack looked set to take the win. However, it was Godfrey of Exeter that emerged from the sanctuary first, dogged a few yards behind by the senior duo of Logan Patrick ’04 and Dan Quinlan ’04. Godfrey, who ran a paced race, won the contest in 18:01. Next, Quinlan crossed the line in 18:10 followed closely by Patrick, five seconds behind at 18:15. After jostling with the Red’s second runner for the last mile of the race, Wes Howe ’05, Andover’s next runner, prevailed on the lawn. After the second Exeter runner two more seniors, Darren Defreeuw ’04 and Dan Serna ’04, finished one second apart crossing at 18:31 and 18:32 respectively. After a string of three Exeter runners to keep the contest close, David Heighington ’06 and Co-captain Tom Barron ’04 crossed rounding out the Blue’s scoring seven. Next up: Interschols. What the team has been training for since June. They are ready; it is up to them to put it all together. Andover will look to get revenge on Exeter, the only team to have beaten them in 2003 at a course in Winsor, CT none of the boys, or coaches, have ever seen. The race, originally slated for Loomis Chaffee, had to be moved after the Pelican’s home course was severly flooded. The Andover Varsity Seven set to run for the Boys in Blue will be Wolfe, Kapor, Chris Donais ’05, Lee, Bramhall, John Freker ’04 and Jon Weigel ’04. Andover will race eleven in the JV race: Jon Hillman ’05, Sean Hamilton ’06, JJ Feigenbaum ’04, Quinlan. Patrick, Serna, Defreeuw, Barron, Geoff Miller ’05, Heighinton and Howe.