The Andover Girls Varsity Track team had a strong opening meet against Tewksbury and Wilbraham Monson on Wednesday. Andover had a four-point lead halfway through the meet and continued excellence performances, winning its first meet of the winter season. The team had first and second place finishes in the mile. Becca Howe ’06 and Sarah Cohan ’08 both had strong races. Howe won the race with a time of 5:56.60 with Cohan placing second at 5:59.20. In the long jump, Colleen Thurman’07 and Michelle Nguyen ’07 both had strong finishes. Thurman jumped 15 feet and three inches and Nguyen jumped 13 feet and 9.5 inches. Nguyen ’07 commented, “I feel like we did really well considering that it’s our first track meet, and both Tewksbury and Wilbraham’s seasons had started way before ours. We can only get better from here.” Jeannette Francis ’06 accomplished a height of seven feet and six inches at the pole vault. Ola Canty ’07 followed with a height of seven feet. Canty said, “Everyone was looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. We were all seeing how fast and high we could go. We did our best with the limited time we had to prepare prior to competing.” Aba Temeng ’06 had an outstanding performance in the Shot Put. Temeng won the event with a score of 37.7 feet, her personal best. Temeng commented, “It was a great start to the season, but we still have a ways to go”. In the 50-yard dash, Carolyn Pollard ’07 had a strong second place finish with a time of 6.8 seconds. Following her was Thurman in third place. The girls 4×400 relay team had an exceptional performance. The relay team, consisting of Alysse Kennedy ’06, Polllard, Kit Harris ’07 and Hannah Comeau ’06, maintained a lead of nearly a lap throughout the entire race. Reflecting on the relay and looking into the rest of the season Harris ’07 commented “We have a lot of new talent of the team this year. It felt great to be back at winter track.” Harris also had a strong performance in the high jump and the 600-yard race. She placed second in the high jump overall, jumping five feet 10 inches, her personal best, and ran the 600 in 1:37.57. Kennedy won the high jump, jumping five feet, 10 inches. Sarah Dowd ’06 won the two-mile race, lapping three Tewksbury girls at least once, finishing with a time of 13:14.50. Dowd ran the race over a minute faster than she had run it last year. Reflecting on the meet, Captain Marty Schnure ’06 commented, “We had a really good first meet, which I hope sets a good tone for the rest of the season.” With a successful first meet behind them, the Andover Girls Varsity Winter Track team looks forward to a fast, strong season. Harris said, “It was great to see so many spectators come to our meet and cheer us on.” The team’s next competition will be against Andover High School this Saturday.