Boys XC Avenges Last Year’s Loss; Narrowly Defeats Rival Exeter, 25-31

Led by Captain Sean Hamilton ’06, the Andover Boys Varsity Cross Country team ran to victory over Exeter last Saturday, in a strategic 25- 31 win that saw Exeter fall short of Andover dominance. Going into the race, both teams were undefeated and Exeter was sure to be the toughest competition Andover would face. The first mile mark saw Hamilton leading with the two top Exeter athletes, Bruce Hallett ’06 and Alex Godfrey ’06 and the rest of the pack were not far behind. Ascending the Log Cabin Hill, Andover broke Exeter’s rhythm and began to pick up the pace. However, Exeter responded and pushed forward. Emerging from the Sanctuary gates, the mix of red and blue meant that it was still anybody’s race. In the last mile, Andover’s pack pulled away from Exeter’s. Ben Bramhall ’07, Mike Discenza ’09, Kentaro Watari ’07, and Dave Wilson ’09 all pushed pass Exeter’s main group of runners, and as they emerged on the Great Lawn, it seemed Andover had captured the race. Exeter’s two top runners safely captured first and second place, as they extended the gap between themselves and Captain Hamilton, who finished third at 16:46. However, it was Andover’s strong varsity that took the race. After Captain Hamilton, four Andover runners finished consecutively. Bramhall followed Captain Hamilton at 17:01. Discenza had a fantastic race, finishing fifth with a personal best of 17:12. Watari finished sixth only one second later, and Wilson finished seventh at 17:18. Because of Andover’s strong pack, Exeter’s first and second place finishes were not enough to challenge the team. Exeter captured eighth and ninth place, followed by Andover’s Addison Godine ’07, finishing in 17:28. Eli Howe ’09 finished 14th with a time of 17:59. Nick Bowen ’06, Geoff Martin ’07, and Dave Heighington ’06 finished in a pack at 18:07, 18:10, and 18:11, respectively. Andover’s strong back varsity group will prove vital at Interschols, where a team’s depth is extremely important. Said Bramhall of the upcoming race, “In a big race like Interschols, having a stronger back benefits a team much more than having a stronger front.” The JV race saw an Andover win, 24-35. As with the varsity, Exeter proved to be the toughest competition of the season. Exeter’s Dan Maselli ’07 took first place at 17:59, but Andover’s strong trio of Greg Hsu ’06, Sean Beckett ’08, and Hanson Causbie ’08 took second, third, and fourth, to secure a win for Andover.