XC Time Trials Reveal Stars; Teams Prep for Canterbury Invite

Co-Captain Ben Bramhall ’07 led the Boys Cross Country team in last Saturday’s time trial, as the boys braved the heat in the season’s first five-kilometer race. After a week of intense training, the squad geared up to take part in the first timed event of the season. The boys lined up at the starting line and began on the command of Head Coach Jeff Domina. Immediately Co-Captain Bramhall took the lead, closely followed by Dave Wilson ’09, Addison Godine ’07, and Mike Discenza’09. The runners at the front of the pack showed their speed by crossing the one mile marker at 5:15. Co-Captain Bramhall later said, “We went out with some excitement… a bit fast for this early in the season, but that first mile has to be fast in order to make up for time lost on the hills later in the course.” At the second mile mark, many of the runners felt the burn as Co-Captain Bramhall noted, “The heat made it very hard to maintain pace once we got out of the sanctuary’s shade. We slowed quite a bit during the last mile.” First to cross the line was Co-Captain Bramhall with a time of 17:16. Next were Wilson, Godine and Discenza recording times of 17:23, 18:06 and 18:14 respectively. Not long after came Alex Hugon ’07 (18:31) and newcomer Evan Moore ‘07 (18:49). Eli Howe ’09 and Jim Ricker ’09 both showed strength recording 18:56 and 19:33. Hanson Causbie ’08 and Steve Stapczynski ’07 completed the top ten, each showing power. Excellent performances were also shown by Jim Elder ’07, Ben Elder ’09, James Krendel-Clark ’07, Jack Walkovik ’09 and Arash Ushani ’07. This season’s times show a slightly weaker performance than last year. As Godine noted, “I felt pretty tired during the time trial, as did the rest of the team.” The race’s results will help determine the runners Coach Domina will select to compete in next Saturday’s challenging early season race, the Canterbury Invitational. The team also felt the absence of Co-Captain Ken Watari ’07, whose slight injury prevented him from running. However, both captains feel pleased about the prospects for the upcoming season. Bramhall said, “If we had run a competitive race we certainly wouldn’t have fulfilled our potential, but this is a team that will really improve a lot throughout the season.” Coach Domina agreed, “you see some strong early times that should make us very optimistic about the later season. Ben led us well up front, and in the middle we saw the emergence of some exciting new strength. It was a good day for the boys’ team.” In the girls time trial, Abby Levene ’09, Breezy Jordan ’09, and Berol Dewdney ’09 crossed the finish line together. The first timed five-kilometer of the season enabled many new runners to learn Andover’s course. Returning runners used the time trial as a warm up before scheduled meets begin. The times will serve as valuable benchmarks off which to base workouts and race goals. 19 new and returning athletes showed up in Saturday’s heat. Levene, Jordan, and Dewdney led the pack, crossing the finish line in 21:09. Levene commented, “Besides feeling dehydrated, I thought the time trial felt really good. It was very fun to run and keep a pace with other teammates.” Two new team members followed the front pack, Abby King ’07 at 21:18, and new lower Aubrey Zimmerling ’09 with 21:26. Sarah Cohan ’08, Anne Elder ’09, and Sara Ho ’08 followed the front pack with times of 21:27, 21:36, and 21:42, respectively. Rounding out the top ten were two more new lowers, Becca MacRae ’09 at 22:39 and Annie McDonough ’09 at 23:14. Overall, the time trial was a huge success. Many runners finished with times faster than those recorded in last year’s time trial. Zimmerling, MacRae, and McDonough prove to be promising new team members. Captain Katie Morris ’07 said, “I’m really proud of everyone because so many people finished faster than the first race last year even though it was very hot.”