Course Record Falls in GXC Win

Berol Dewdney ’09 led the race last Saturday at Northfield Mt. Hermon, finishing with a time of 19:52 and breaking the course record. Following her closely were Breezy Jordan ’09 at 20:01 and Jen Downing ’08 at 20:05. Downing said, “Our team worked together to push each other through the harder parts of the course. Breezy and Berol helped keep up the pace for me, especially in the first mile, which I usually run conservatively.” She continued, “The finish, a short lap of a baseball field, didn’t leave much room for a kick, but I felt that I had left my energy in the third mile anyway. The crazy roots and rocks forced everyone to take extra steps and the rolling terrain was tiring. “As a whole, our team did really well and showed our deep talent yet again.” NMH altered its course two years ago, but this was the first chance the Andover girls had to compete on it. The new course started with a fast first mile, circling a small field before following a rocky trail downhill into the woods. The second mile was full of short hills, tricky footing and small bridges, which added difficulty. On the third mile, the racers followed the dirt path out of the woods and back up onto a baseball field for a short loop to the finish. Overall, the course’s terrain was the most challenging aspect. The runners needed to be mindful of their footing to avoid injury. Becca Waldo ’07 said, “The trails were really unstable: full of rocks and roots. This made running through it difficult, but also interesting because we needed to plan every step a few strides early. “Everyone was up to the challenge, though, and we performed really well as a team even though we were missing a lot of runners.” Only thirteen girls from the team were able to race against NMH due to a few last-minute decisions to pull out of the race by cautious team members. Sarah Cohan ‘08 and Octavia Abell ‘10 played it safe, choosing to skip running the tricky course. At this point in the season, the runners are looking toward the competition with Exeter and Interschols as the most important races. The team scored every possible point in both the varsity and JV races, finishing with a score of 15-48. This is a perfect score, considering the number of Andover girls who raced. Usually, when there are fourteen or more girls who race for each team, a perfect score is 15-50. Also finishing strong were Abby King ’07 with a time of 21:01 then Stephanie Moroney ’09 at 21:30. Anne Elder ’09 and Georgina Norton ’09 were next, crossing the finish line with times of 21:42 and 21:53, respectively. Norton, who broke 22 minutes for the first time this week, commented, “The race went really well and I felt really strong. “Our team went into the race planning to work with one another to better our times, and it really helped the second and third miles to seem less difficult. “The terrain of the course made our times slightly slower than usual, but our training the week before was on trails, so were well prepared for it.” Following closely behind Norton was Waldo at 22:29. At her heels was Captain Katie Morris ’07, at 22:56. Captain Morris said, “I think the team did very well during the race and I am extremely proud. “With only thirteen girls from Andover running, it was almost impossible to find a teammate to run with, but everyone really helped each other by pushing themselves through the race.” The next Andover finishers were Cora Lewis ’09 at 23:17 and Katie Osterman ’07 at 23:29, followed by Kit Harris ’07 at 23:31 and Becca Zinsmeister at 25:39. On the whole, the string of Andover front-runners in addition to the considerable depth throughout the Junior Varsity rankings left a strong impression on all spectators. The upcoming race with Deerfield will begin on Saturday at 3:00 on the great lawn.