Boys Cross-Country Sweeps Brooks, Runs Past St. Paul’s On Flooded Course

On the final stretch to the finish line of the Varsity Boys Cross Country race at Brooks, Captain Sean Hamilton ’06 splashed through seven inches of water to a second place finish. Three teams competed, and the final score saw Andover with two victories, 15-42 against Brooks and 22-33 against St. Paul’s School. The Brooks course, known for its hilly, varied terrain, was an enormous challenge in the pouring rain. The course began with a long concrete segment, unusual for a cross-country race and not ideal for spikes. In the rain, a steep downhill that had become a mudslide welcomed runners into a hilly forest area. Along the paths, deep puddles slowed runners down significantly. While running across various flooded athletic fields, the boys trudged through deep puddles and streams of flowing rainwater. The race was test of physical strength, mental toughness, and above all, heart. Indeed the miserable weather conditions radically affected the race times, as most athletes ran races almost a minute slower than usual. Said Ben Bramhall ’07 of the times, “It wasn’t a day of individual success as the times were over a minute slower than usual, but it was still a huge day for the team.” Still, Andover dominated the competition. Andover took up three of the top five spots, Captain Hamilton crossing the line at 17:52, only three seconds behind the first place runner from St. Paul’s. Following Captain Hamilton, Bramhall finished at 18:06 in third place and Kentaro Watari ’07 sprinted in at 18:15, capturing a fourth place finish. Another St. Paul’s runner took the fifth place spot, but Dave Wilson ’09 and Addison Godine ’07 finished close behind at 18:22 and 18:27, respectively, coming in sixth and seventh place. Looking to Interschols in November, this race was a vital win for the team. Said Bramhall of the success, “Despite the fact that there were what seemed like small ponds scattered throughout the course, our front pack really condensed, bringing our fifth runner in only 35 seconds after our first, which is exactly what we need to win Interschols.” Brooks’ athletes failed to come up with enough to challenge the strong Andover team. The first Brooks runner finished behind all of Andover’s top five athletes, resulting in a shutout score of 15-42. After a large pack of Brooks and St. Paul’s runners, Andover’s second wind crossed the line. Geoff Martin ’07 ran a time of 19:26 and captured a 17th place finish. A little while later, Alex Hugon ’07 and Dave Heighington ’06 sprinted in together at 19:53 and 19:54, respectively. Finishing up for Andover, Sean Beckett ’08 followed closely behind, racing in at 20:12, securing a 22nd place finish. Andover’s great depth was shown in the JV race, where PA athletes crushed the competition. First through fourth place were taken up by Andover athletes. Mike Discenza ’09 and Nick Bowen ’06 tied for first with a time of 19:00. Following them, Greg Hsu ’06 and Elias Howe ’09 sprinted in together at 19:10. Separated by one lone St. Paul’s athlete, Hanson Causbie ’08 wrapped up the Andover JV top five, finishing in sixth place in 19:42. Andover anticipates another race on its home course this Parents Weekend against NMH.