Underdog Blue Burns Big Red

Thanks to a number of gutsy performances, Andover track rocked archrival Exeter on Wednesday. The boys’ varsity team, led by Captain David Sheldon ’04, won 62-42, and the JV emerged victorious 65-39. Girls Varsity, headed by Captain Jackie Latina ’04, took down Exeter 67.5 to 36.5. After weeks of intense preparation, Andover began the meet with fierce team determination. As Emma Etheridge ’04 said, “There was a period of a couple of weeks when we didn’t have any meets scheduled and the entire team worked their butts off conditioning and preparing for Exeter.” Evan Platt’06 added, “We were looking forward to beating the Exeter track team into the ground and making an example of them so that the rest of the Exeter teams know what to expect!” The coaches knew the meet would be a tight one. “Heading into the meet,” said Coach Callum, “we knew it was going to be a close, point for point battle of heart and will. We had home track advantage, but they had nationally-ranked Harry Norton in the mile (9th in the country) and Jan Ng in the 800 (13th in the country). We knew [Exeter] would likely max them both out in events during the meet. We went into the meet, planning for each scenario, each event, each point, how to maximize our chances.” The meet itself started off with a bang. In the shot put, Anwell Lanfranco ’04 won first place and qualified for nationals with a throw of 53’. Prior to this meet he had never thrown over 50’. Overall, 10 out of 13 shot-putters achieved personal bests, showing off the depth and talent of the shot-put program. In the next event, John Freker ’04 ran a sub-five minute mile to finish second with a time of 4:46. Sean Hamilton ’06 dominated the JV mile, crossing the line over 15 seconds faster than the closest Exeter competitor. Wes Howe ’05 missed second place by just two seconds, finishing third with a 5:12 mile. Following the mile, a showdown between two premier athletes took center stage. Coach Callum described the battle, saying, “As expected, Tolu Wusu and Exeter’s Aaron Gadson went head to head in the high jump and long jump. Gadson, making an impression, scissor-kicked his way to 5feet 10inches, Tolu followed suit with a 5foot 8in clearance for second. Tolu exacted his revenge in the high jump on Gadson, who beat him at Harvard on Sunday by 2 inches. This time Tolu came out on top, popping a season best 21foot 9.5inch jump, trumping both Gadson and Exeter’s Powell. Lower and Junior Class record hurdler Spencer Johnson ’06 placed second in the 50yd hurdles with a time of 7.3 seconds. Captain Sheldon won the 50-yard dash with a time of 5.7, while Brendan McManus ’05 finished in 5.8 seconds to place second. Hsu, Alex Dent ’04 and Ryan McDougall ’05 swept the JV race with times of 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3 respectively. In the 600, Adam Kapor’04, who ran a season best 1:20, placed first. His teammate, Chris Herlich ’05, missed his season best by one second, but still placed third with an amazing finish in 1:24. Donais and JJ Feigenbaum ’04 went one-two in the two mile, finishing in 10:30 and 10:54, respectively. Hamilton took home the JV race, beating his Exeter opponent by over 32 seconds with a time of 10:52. Howe ran also sub-12 minute 2 mile to place third. Sheldon placed first again in the 300-yard dash with a time of 35.29 seconds to finish the season undefeated in the event. Mario Noyola ’06, who only began to pole vault last year, vaulted his season best in a meet with an amazing 11’6”. At the end of the meet the entire team cheered Noyola on to clear the 12’ ft bar. He almost made it, but the bar wobbled and just barely fell off. His teammate, David Coit ’04, beat the closest Exeter jumper by an entire foot with a jump of 10 feet. Callum said afterwards, “Mario is among many young talented Andover athletes we will be looking to over the coming years.” Both the boys varsity relay, Andrew Geraghty ’05, Kojo DeGraft-Hanson ’05, Pat Shannon’05, Wusu, and the JV squad, Hsu, Dan Silk ‘07, AJ Charles ’07, and Ryan McDougall ’05 won their relays. On the girls’ side, Lissy Robie ’04 and an Exie ran head to head during the mile, but Robie missed first place by six tenths of a second. Andover swept the 50 yd hurdles. Marty Schnure ’06 won the again with a time of 7.8 while Tognoni, her teammate and fellow relay runner, ran a personal best of 7.9. Colleen Thurman ’07 finished with a personal best 8.6 seconds. Lelia Adell ’05 and Etheridge ’04 both tied their personal bests in the pole vault with vaults of 7’0 ft. Captain Latina, Lexi Dwyer ’04 and Sonia DeYoung ’05 swept the 50 yard dash with times of 6.3, 6.6, and 6.6, respectively. Thurman placed first and a personal best in the long Jump with 16’2.5”, breaking her own freshman record. Latina placed third with a jump of 15’2”. Latina missed first by less than four tenths of a second in a tight 300-yeard dash. DeYoung followed her with a time of 41.43 seconds. In the 1000-yard run, Robie beat her Exeter mile competitor by less than a second for the victory. Becca Howe ’06 finished in third place. Dwyer and Tognoni also took first and second in the high jump, clearing 5’0 and 4’8, respectively. Coach Callum said, “The lady blue relay team of Dwyer, Tognoni, Schnure and Latina, still shining from their school record several weeks ago, closed the meet with distinction, never looking back. There would be no protest, no appeal, no question who was the better team today; their victory was by half a lap over the Red,” said Callum. Callum continued afterwards “We knew our team had the heart and the talent, but I don’t think anyone expected us to top Exeter so convincingly.”