Track Looks to Interschols; Boys Aim for Fifth Straight

Girls Track: This spring looks to be a promising season for Girls Track. Many new hopefuls joined the team this year. But Andover will rely heavily on key returning athletes. Cassie Tognoni ’05 just returned from nationals for the high-jump in indoor track and promises to be a significant contributor. Marty Schnure ’06 racked up the points in years past, experimenting in new events and contributing even more to the team’s success in both running and jumping events. Aba Temeng ’06 is well known for her throwing. Ali Holliday ’06 will be a strong contender in the distance events while Sonia DeYoung ’05 has been called a “regular speed demon” by Captain Annie Wilkin. With this talent, Captain Wilkin is understandably very optimistic about the season. She said, “Girls Track has taken second at Interschols for the past four years; this year I know we’ve got a good shot at first.” A look at the array of powerhouse veterans proves the validity of his sentiment. Wilkin herself has been running spring track since her Lower year at Andover. She specializes in the 100-meter, 200 meter, and 4×100 on the track as well as the discus throw. This diversity in the areas of expertise is sometimes difficult for athletes involved in track and requires dividing workouts to gain mastery of unrelated skills. Fortunately, many of the team members are rising to meet this challenge. Wilkin commented on thie diversity of this year’s group of girls and how it affects the group dynamic. “Track can easily become very much an individualist sport because everybody’s got different events and different agendas, but I think in the end that variety makes coming together as a team even more rewarding and exciting.” This spring is looking especially bright to the Girls Track team. Their first meet, against Reading High School, will be held at home on Saturday, April 9. Boys Track: A slightly depleted Andover Boy’s Track Team returns to the oval this spring looking to make a run at its fifth championship in five years. Although it still boasts one of the top teams in the New England Prep School Track Division, Andover will have its work cut out for it against a noticeably talented team from Exeter. Acting as the backbone of the team, Captain Kojo Degraft-Hanson ’05 will lead the team not only with amazing performances on the track, but also with his sterling leadership qualities as seen during the indoor track season. Specializing in the 400-meter, Degraft-Hanson should spearhead the assault against Exeter’s gifted sprinter core. Greg Hsu ’06 will join Degraft-Hanson in Andover’s sprinter group. Specializing in the 100 and 200 Meters, Hsu will look to lower his already fast times and resume his steady progression into the top ranks of NEPSTA sprinters. Captain Degraft-Hanson commented on what it would take to put together a winning team, “It’s always a challenge. With dedication, participation, and hard work, it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge, though.” From the thrower’s circle, Lower duo of Casey Shannon ’07 and Joe O’Hern ’07 should continue to push each other to new levels and in the process score points for Andover in the shot put. Andover’s Distance squad should act as the strongest faction of the team with Chris Donais ’05 leading the way. Middle-Distance specialists Jon Hillman ’05 and Ben Bramhall ’07 should bring both speed and endurance as they bolster the team’s depth and ability. PG Idris Jatoi ’05 and Seán Hamilton ’06 should add to Andover’s already potent long distance core. Pole-vaulter Mario Noyola ’06 looks to return to the runway and vault higher than ever as he continues his rise into the top tier of vaulters. Hsu commented on the upcoming season, “While we’re always optimistic, our prospects in the spring season this year are considerably less bright than last year. The boys will have to fight tooth and nail to make our dynasty go on to a five-peat.”