Boys and Girls Track Fall to Exeter; Boys Lack Sprinters, Girls Need Distance

Boys Track: Kentaro Watari ’07 led the way for Andover’s ninth and tenth graders on Wednesday in their showdown against Exeter with two first place finishes. However, his heroic effort didn’t compute to victory for Andover as the future of PA Track suffered a tough loss, 50-35. Andover’s distance squad provided most of the points for PA, with Watari and Chris Wade ’08 winning all of their events. Distance dominator Watari led the wave of blue in the Mile run; Andover swept the event. Cam Smith ’07 and Elliot Shimer ’07 joined Watari, all finishing the race within 6 seconds of each other. Watari’s time of 5:09 comes close to a personal record. Watari returned in the two-mile where again he led the field, crossing the line in first place with a solid time of 11:11. Wade claimed victory in the 600-yard run in a dominating performance over his Exeter opponents. Shimer returned with fury in the 1000-yard run where he managed to place second overall in a fast field. His time of 2:42 shows that his devoted training throughout the season is beginning to pay off. After Exeter swept both the High Jump and the Long Jump, claiming all eighteen available points, team victory looked unlikely. Martin Serna ’07 competed for victory in the shot put, but eventually fell a close second to Exeter. Peter McCarthy ’07 placed third in the Pole Vault, even after Exeter field event officials rushed the team into taking the runway before they were completely ready. McCarthy tied the second place height of 8’6”; however, McCarthy attempted the height one more tim than his competitor. As a result, he picked up third place in the event. Andover’s lack of depth in the sprinter’s camp became evident. Exeter stole key victories in the 300-yard dash, as well as the 50-yard dash, widening the deficit between the two rivals. Andover’s Luinis Tejada ’08 evaded the sweep for Exeter by placing third overall in the 50-yard dash. Andover’s 4X400 relay team dominated the squad from Exeter. Andover’s Wade, Chris Han ’07, McCarthy, and Smith all posted 61 second splits and gladly claimed victory to narrow the points gap slightly but not nearly enough to stave off the loss. Girls Track: On Wednesday the Girls track team battled against Exeter, losing 35-50 in an underclassmen meet. Varsity and Junior Varsity girls compete against Exeter with girls about their own age. This is a unique opportunity, and many girls place in the top three, even though they may not in a regular meet. Because Exeter has a different track the long jumpers had to take extra time in practice to get ready for the new venue. Colleen Thurman ’07 placed first in the long jump, and second in the shot put. “There’s more motivation to win this meet to put the pressure on for the varsity meet next week,” said Thurman, the freshman record holder. She continued, “Our whole season has been preparation for this meet, so we’re winding down in practice to rest up for Exeter.” Ola Canty ’07 and Michelle Nguyen ’07 placed second and third in the 300-yard dash, respectively. Canty and Jocelyn Gully ’07 placed first and second respectively in the pole vault. The Exeter girls didn’t even clear the starting height. “I was very excited this weekend because I broke my 600 time again,” said Kit Harris ’07, after cutting off a remarkable 8 seconds since her first 600 race a week ago. She placed second at Exeter in the event. Harris said, “It’s really exciting to have found a race that’s mine and that I love.” The girls had a strong meet. However, the final result of the (35-50 Exeter) does not reflect the depth of the team.“Michelle Nguyen placed first in the high jump, and Colleen clocked in first in the 50 yard dash. I would say those two events were definitely the highlights of the meet,” said Harris. The girls did not have any distance runners in the 1000 yard run, the two mile or the one mile. By just entering girls in the distance races, Exeter received an extra 27 points. It was these extra points that gave Exeter the edge, for without the distance advantage the results would have been in Andover’s favor.