Girls’ XC Takes First At Interschols; Six Runners Awarded N.E. Honors

Being known as “the fastest team in New England” is something most cross country teams can only dream about. But completely dominating the NEPSTA Cross Country Championships at both the Varsity and JV levels as the Andover Girls Varsity Cross Country team did on Saturday is nothing short of incredible. Andover won the Varsity race for the first time since 1999 with 44 points, 15 points ahead of archrival Exeter, to whom it had lost the previous weekend, and 34 ahead of third place Loomis-Chaffee. Although the team did not place any runners in the top five, Andover, with its superior depth, nonetheless pulled off a decisive win. Erika Roddy ’07 finished in sixth place with a personal best time of 19:42, 28 seconds off the leader. Although she was injured for the majority of the season, Roddy was Andover’s fastest runner of the day. She led in a fast Andover pack that took sixth through ninth place. Captain Katie Faulkner ’06 trailed Roddy by four seconds and took seventh place, with Jen Downing ’08 not far behind, taking eighth and tying her personal best time of 19:51. Berol Dewdney ’09 took ninth with a personal best time of 19:55. Brianna Jordan ’09 and Abigail Levene ’09 followed in 14th and 15th places, respectively, with times of 20:24 and 20:26. Katherine Adams ’06 rounded out the Varsity seven in 22nd place with a time of 20:59, two seconds off of her personal best. Although the top five contained two runners each from Exeter and Loomis, Andover’s depth brought it the win. By displacement, all seven Andover runners were able to contribute to the score. The top 15 runners in the Varsity race are named to the “All New England Cross Country Team.” Andover’s depth and sheer talent became apparent as it was able to send six runners, Roddy, Captain Faulkner, Downing, Dewdney, Jordan, and Levene, to the team, more than any other school. Captain Faulkner said, “It’s not because of any one individual that we became the fastest team in New England on Saturday. We’ve run together all season; we all earned this victory. Every girl who raced pushed herself far beyond her limits, even when, as was the case in the JV race, her only competition was her teammates.” Before the JV race, Coach Lang told her team that the top ten should contain “a strong Andover presence.” The team took her words literally, placing all ten runners in the top 11, winning with a perfect score.