Captain Hamilton Leads Time-Trial; New Runners Fill Void In Top Seven

Sean Hamilton ’06 looked strong as he led the Andover Boys Cross Country pack to the finish line in Saturday’s time trial. Overall, the time-trial was an awesome success, as new and old runners competed and set the pace for the coming season. Any premonitions that this was to be a ‘developing’ season were all but abolished by this first successful race. Fifteen of the twenty-three athletes ran personal record times, either running the course for the first time or improving upon their records from previous seasons, and the future is looking extremely bright for the upcoming season. The Andover course is a relatively hilly one, challenging runners with various terrains including grass, concrete, and dirt. The course’s first mile begins with a lap around the Great Lawn, continues behind the Chapel and across the knoll into the Sanctuary. After running the first two miles, runners are humbled by the infamously steep Heartbreak Hill before exiting the sanctuary and heading back up to the Great Lawn for one last grueling mile. Cross-country veterans made up four of the top seven finishers, showing a strong front to start of the season. Captain Hamilton led the team, running a personal record of 16 minutes, 57 seconds, and setting a high bar for the rest of the season. Not far behind Ben Bramhall ’07 crossed the line at his best time yet of 17:12. In sixth place Addison Godine ’07 finished with a strong personal best of 18:32. On his heels finished returner Dave Heighington ’06, who rounded out the top seven with a strong 18:33. Athletes new to the team quickly and easily filled the sizeable hole left from graduating. In his first time on the course, Kentaro Watari ’07 finished third with an amazing personal record of 17:34. New junior Dave Wilson ’09 ran a fantastic race, finishing with the older veterans at 18:08 min, a great way to start off his cross country career as a new member of the team. Behind him was another new runner, Sean Beckett ’07, who ran an admirable 18:28 race. Andover’s second seven looks equally promising, with Nate Thomas ’08 running a strong 18:47. Said Thomas of the time-trial. “We have a really excellent Junior squad this year, and a ton of people have improved.” He continued, “So far we are a better team than last year and we have been training a lot harder.” Behind Thomas were Alex Hugon ’07 and Jeff Martin ’07 who both ran personal records, along with newcomer Eli Howe ’08 close behind. Rounding out the second seven were Nick Bowen ’06 and Greg Hsu ’06, finishing neck and neck at 19:16 and 19:17. It seems that an extremely bright future lies ahead for this young team, as the top runners look forward to the Canterbury Invitational this coming Saturday. The team won this big race last year, and is looking to defend their title.