Deerfield PG Leads Boys Cross Country; Deep Andover Squad Still Prevails

Captain Sean Hamilton ’06 ran a strong second place finish for the Andover Boys Varsity Cross Country team with a time of 16:52 in Saturday’s race at Deerfield. Andover’s depth is to thank for an impressive 21-38 victory as Andover’s top seven proved too much for Deerfield to handle. Andover saw three ninth graders in the top seven, proving that the young team continues to grow stronger as the end of the season approaches. Due to flooding, Deerfield altered its regular course, making the distance an unknown length just over the regular 3.1 miles. Rat Hill, shortly through the first mile, almost resembled a small cliff. As the gun went off, Deerfield’s twenty-year-old number-one runner Nick Blixt ’06 got off to a fast start, establishing a quick thirty foot lead over Captain Hamilton. Scrambling up Rat Hill, the main group saw blue and green intermixed, with Ben Bramhall ’07, Kentaro Watari ’07, and Addison Godine ’07 leading the mass. Hamilton fought to stay close to Blixt, who set a speedy pace for the first mile, coming in at under five minutes. Bramhall and Watari followed, unchallenged by Deerfield’s second runner. Godine and Dave Wilson ’09 competed with Deerfield’s second fastest for most of the race. The two-mile mark saw Blixt pull away from Hamilton and the main pack. Blixt would continue to win the race with a time of 16:18. Fatigued from the blistering pace set by Deerfield’s number one, Hamilton faded slightly at the end, but maintained his position well. The finish saw Hamilton sprinting in at 16:52, a spectacular time for the lengthy course. Meanwhile, Bramhall and Watari moved up on Hamilton in the final mile, gradually shortening the gap. Godine, running his best race to date, moved past Deerfield’s second runner to finish in fifth place at 17:24. Wilson and Deerfield’s second were side by side going into the final stretch, but the Deerfield senior pulled ahead of Andover’s junior, awarding sixth place to Deerfield and seventh place to Andover’s Wilson. Mike Discenza ’09 followed, and although he struggled with a stitch for the majority of the race, he was able to run through it to an eighth place finish in a time of 17:52. Eli Howe ’09 finished just behind Deerfield’s third runner at 18:03, placing 10th overall and rounding out Andover’s top seven. Trailing behind Howe, Nick Bowen ’06 and Dave Heighington ’06 finished at 18:20 and 18:26, respectively. Two Deerfield runners separated Bowen and Heighington from Greg Hsu ’06, who finished up for Andover at 18:43.