Andover Track Takes Down North Andover

Lynnfield chickened out, but after what the Big Blue Track teams did to North Andover, perhaps they made the right call. Andover responded well in their opening test of dual meet competition. With it becoming apparent early on that Lynnfield would not be making the trip to the Case Memorial Cage, Andover sized up their near town opponents, North Andover High. The Scarlet Knights were the first of what should be many teams to fall victim to the Big Blue Tracksters. It was an afternoon of great success for Andover’s athletes, with the girls team taking first place in 11 of the twelve events, and the boys following up with 9 first places of their own. Andover set the tone for the meet early, as both Colleen Thurman ’07 and Tolu Wusu ’04 won the girls and boys long jumps with distances of 16’2 and 21’23/4. Captain David Sheldon ’04 followed Wusu with a third of his own. In the mile, Lissy Robie ’04 continued Andover’s winning ways, dominating the field with a time of 5:37. On the boys side, XC stars Chris Donais ’05, John Hillman ’05, and John Freker ’04 showed Andover’s dominance in the distance discipline sweeping the event, crossing the line less than a second apart, all at 4:48. The sprinters showed what the training had been for, when O’Shea Galan ’04 took second in the 300 dash. It looked like Galan had the race won with two turns remaining, but North Andover’s sprinter unleashed a powerful kick. The final effort proved to be just enough to edge out Andover’s finest, as he gained the inside lane of the corner and eventually the race win. Sheldon, returning from illness late in the week, showed just a taste of what he can do when he is healthy, missing the blue ribbon at the line by a hundredth of a second in the 50 yard dash. The girls, led by Captain Jackie Latina ’04, continued the destruction of the opposition. Latina, Lexi Dwyer ’04, and Marty Schnure ‘07 swept the 300 dash for the Lady Blue. Latina brought her success into the 50-yard dash, winning it with Sonia DeYoung on her heels, taking second for Andover. Schnure hurdled her way to victory in the 50 hurdles, clocking an impressive 7.9 seconds. Veteran shot putter, Anwel Lanfranco ’04, powered Andover in the thrower’s corner, beating his opponent by eight feet, throwing ever closer to the 50 foot mark. In the high jump, 5’10” was all Galan needed to secure another first for the big blue. Dwyer and Cassie Tognogni ‘05 followed Galan, taking the first two places, launching themselves over the bar at 5’0” and 4’10” respectively. Adam Kapor ’04 led the Big Blue sweep of both the 1000 yards and the 600 yards. In the thousand, Kapor, Hillman, and Freker all finished just three seconds apart at 2:31, 2:32 and 2:34 respectively. Again in the 600, Kapor showed his strength, winning his second event of the day, crossing at 1:21. This time Chris Herlich ‘05 and Dan Serna ’04 chased him and completed the sweep. Robie and Becca Howe ’06 secured the first two spots in the thousand yards run for the girls, pacing themselves to 2:59 and 3:14 respectively. Hoppy Maffione ’04 led from the start in the grueling two-mile event. Never looking back to her competitors she blazed ahead, cruising to victory by over a minute, the final time being 13:08. Mile winner Donais returned to the track in the two-mile later on in the afternoon. Donais, seemingly unfazed by his tiring mile win, led from the gun. It was a welcome end to a hard day for the long distance workhorse, as he added 10 points to Andover’s towering score, taking the event. By the end of the 4×440 relay, which both boys and girls won for Andover, the scores were all in Andover’s favor. The girls, led by Robie and Latina, were able to score 78 points to North Andover’s 17. The Boys in Blue hosted a slightly closer meet, led by Donais and Kapor, stacking up 66 points to the competition’s 29. The first competitive dual meet of the season fell Andover’s way, not a surprise to a team that has been enjoying a winning streak for several years. Tomorrow, the Big Blue will fight for town bragging rights, as Andover High enters the cage for a day of racing.