Howe ’09 Runs Personal Best of 4:33 in the Mile; Boys Track Matches Up Against College Teams

Eli Howe’s ’09 impressive mile time of 4:33 earned him a personal best time and a top 20 finish at the USATF New England Championships. Howe’s race was one of the many great individual performances for the Andover boys track team at Harvard University. The Andover Indoor Track team’s top runners traveled to Harvard on Saturday to compete in an open championship meet featuring local collegiate competitors. After a long break between meets, several Andover runners achieved their best times on the sloped, synthetic Harvard track. In the sprints, Luinis Tejada ’08 showed that he could compete against the elite competition. In the 200, where the field included past Andover star runner Merzudin Ibric, Tejada crossed the line in 23.50, earned him 13th place Captain Peter McCarthy ’07 put a good race together in the 400, clocking in at 54.16. The Andover captain’s time put him in the middle of the pack against older competition. Another highlight for Andover was David Wilson’s 09’ performance in the 5000 meters. Wilson, running the 5K for the first time since the cross-country season, came in with a very respectable time of 16:13.28. The New England Championship meet was less of a team-oriented meet and more of a chance for runners to showcase their efforts against elite competition. The Andover team hoped that it would be able to duplicate some of its great individual efforts when it faced off against Exeter the following week. Andover competed at rival Exeter on Wednesday. Despite some superb efforts, Andover was unable to counter Exeter’s depth in the middle-distance races. The meet ended with a final score of 65-39, in favor of Exeter. The first win in the meet for Andover came in the long jump from Jae-Yeop Kim ’07. Kim’s jump of 20’2” gave him first place in the event, and Alexander McHale ’08 rounded out the scoring with a third place finish. After a 1-2 finish by Exeter in the mile, Andover came into the 50 yard dash down by ten points. However, Tejada put together a breakthrough performance, crossing the line in first place with a time of 5.7. After teammate Kim crossed the line only 0.1 seconds behind, Andover had narrowed the gap to 3 points. Andover continued to keep the point margin close by taking first and third place in the pole vault. Leading the way for Andover was Captain McCarthy with an impressive vault of 11’. Jack Walker ’09 also picked up some valuable points for the team by earning third place. In the two-mile, Wilson outran two talented Exeter runners to earn the victory. Wilson’s time of 10:28.1 placed him over ten seconds ahead of the next time posted by Exeter. Exeter pulled away on the scoring sheet during the last few events. By sweeping the high jump, Exeter gained the lead. Despite second place finishes by Howe in the 1000 and Tejada in the 300, Exeter locked up the victory in the meet before the final relay. The 4×400 relay once again demonstrated Exeter’s depth in the middle-distance events. The Andover relay team’s efforts fell short, as its time of 3:58.9 was only good enough for second place. It is always difficult to lose a meet to a rival team and Andover was disappointed that it was unable to end the season with a win. However, the loss should not take away from an Andover track season full of record performances by young runners and great leadership by graduating seniors.