Girls Cross Country Shuts Out St. Paul’s School; Levene ’09 Cuts 19 Seconds off Personal Record

Abby Levene ’09 led Andover to a shutout at St. Paul’s School last Saturday, dropping nineteen seconds off her previous time. Andover defeated the opposition easily, securing the top eight spots and achieving a perfect 15-50 score. Levene commented, “Before the race, the team was nervous because we knew it was going to be a close battle between our team and the runners from St. Paul’s. The opponents who I thought would stay with us fell behind early on and never caught up. I felt really strong throughout the race and the beautiful course helped me feel refreshed. It was great to run with such a large number of my teammates, and the shutout score put the icing on the cake.” Berol Dewdney ’09 followed Levene with a time of 19:47. Breezy Jordan ’09 and Jen Downing ’08 came in next, finishing together with times of 19:56 and 19:57, respectively. All four girls showed their hard work and stamina during the race. The 5K course was set in the woods, filled with rolling hills and uneven trails. The course started across a soccer field and disappeared into the woods. It then followed a dirt path around three separate loops, each just under a mile long. The several steep, short loops tested the racers’ skill and endurance. The final stretch opened up onto a track, perfect for a strong finishing kick. Andover dominated the race, winning both the varsity and JV races with perfect scores. Overall, the team took first through eighth place before it allowed a single St. Paul’s runner to score. In its first shutout of the season, Andover showed its great depth and ability to beat other schools by working together. Dewdney commented, “I was so proud of our team and how well we did as a whole. Going into the race, we were expecting the St. Paul’s runners to provide much harder competition than previous opponents. We ended up with a finishing with a perfect score, which was awesome!” Taking fifth place was Aubrey Zimmerling ’09 at 20:11. She was followed closely by Sarah Cohan ’08 at 20:24, Abby King ’07 at 20:29, and Sara Ho ’08 at 20:34. Not far behind finished Anne Elder ’09 at 20:47, and Stephanie Moroney ’09 at 21:03. Said Cohan of the race, “I felt great because I ran conservatively during the first two miles, and I had a lot left to finish strong. I really liked St. Paul’s course. It was actually very similar to ours because the first and third miles were relatively flat, but the second mile was hilly and through the woods.” Also finishing strong were Becca MacRae ’09 (21:42), Kit Harris ’07 (21:58), Kie Watanabe ’08 (22:05), and Becca Waldo ’07 (22:29). Andover brought a total of twenty-six racers, a huge number that truly exemplified the team’s strength this year. After a tough week of training, the girls went into the race with adrenaline and high expectations. St. Paul’s proved to be an easier opponent than expected, and the Andover teammates were able to compete against each other and propel the team to new heights. The healthy and eager team returned home with its expectations fulfilled.