After a summer of many miles and endless hills where many runners tracked up to 50 miles per week, the Andover Boys Cross Country team hopes to improve on last year’s excellent season. Captain Eli Howe ’09 hopes to follow in the footsteps of last year’s Captain Hanson Causbie ’08 by setting an example in both practices and meets. Howe has had an impressive running career at Andover, excelling in all three seasons of running. However, Howe is not alone and will be backed by what he calls the deepest team in his years at Andover. The team only lost two of its top 14 runners from last year’s team which took third at Interschols. Charlie Ganner ’10 looks to continue the progress he made in his incredible breakout season last year, where he finished third at Interschols and first for Andover. Also returning to the top of the team is Mike Discenza ’09, whose past seasons have been marred by injury. Discenza looks to put the past behind him and is hopes to be a key runner in the top seven this year. Other top returnees Declan Cummings ’09, Michaeljit Sandhu ’09 and Tim McLaughlin ’11 will play key roles in the Andover team’s success. Howe commented about his expectations for this year’s top 14. “I think that there is a lot of potential for this year’s team to win Interschols, but we have to take things step by step. If we all peak at the right time and stick together as a team, I believe we have a great chance when Interschols roll around in November,” said Howe. Jack Walkovik ’09 agreed with Howe, adding “This is the best team I think we have had in a long time. Some of the new kids are great runners and I think our depth could be unmatched this year.” Coach Jon Stableford ’63 echoed the thoughts of Walkovik and Howe. “I think that our program this year is definitely very strong and that we will race well, be it the top seven or the runners in the training group. Looking at the team this year, I think that we will not only be very competitive this year, but that we will continue to a force in the coming years as we have many developing runners. I think that the big challenge that we will face will be avoiding injuries that have shaken our top runners over the last few weeks. If we can avoid injuries to our top runners, I think that we will have a great chance at defeating St. Paul’s who has long been our main obstacle.” If Andover is able to keep improving as the season wears on while avoiding injuries that have plagued some top runners in past years, the team should have a solid chance at making a run at the Interschols team championship. After time trials this week, Andover seeks to defend its title at the Canterbury Invitational on September 22nd.