Andover Sweeps St. Paul’s; Levene Breaks Course Record

The girls’ Cross Country team continues to dominate. Choate’s hilly course couldn’t stand up to the girls, and neither could St. Paul’s course record. At the Choate meet last Saturday, Andover won nine out of the top ten positions, for a score 25 points ahead of Choate. Coach Nancy Lang said, “I’m so proud! Having fourteen girls there who all ran so well was amazing. Everybody finished in a healthy and happy way, and that’s the important thing.” Captain Berol Dewdney ‘09 won the race, finishing in 20:01. She managed to outrun the next finisher, a Choate girl, by four seconds, and Georgina Norton ’09 by 27 seconds. Most girls ran slower times than they had on the course at home, no doubt due to Choate’s challenging course. Molly Levene ’12, a promising new runner, called Choate’s big hill “a major mountain! Way bigger than the one in the Sanctuary.” Coach Lang said, “It was a really hard course. All of our girls did really well, though! I think it was kind of neat for many of the runners because the Interscholastic Championship was on the same course last year.” The team performed even better on Wednesday, though, lead by Abby Levene ‘09. Levene wasn’t able to go to the Choate meet, but she made up for it at Saint Paul’s. Not only did she outrun all of the other girls by over 45 seconds, but also broke the course record of 19:00 with 18:47. Levene said about the record, “I didn’t think about it before the race. I was looking forward to running, it’s a great course.” She said about running, “I was focused. At the end I was having fun, and felt energized, but I didn’t know that I was going to beat the record!” The previous record holder was Andover alumna Melissa Donais ’01. The girl’s Cross Country team achieved victory as a whole, too. It beat the Saint Paul’s team by 32 points. Andover girls took all of the top five places. Coach Lang said, “Many of our times were significantly faster than those on Saturday. We really came together as a team – girls were running in pairs or groups for the whole race. They pulled each other to faster times.” This really helped Molly Levene, who said, “It was so fun to be there with the team, and everybody’s so supportive of each other. That really helps.” Andover brought 29 girls to the meet, two thirds of all the girls in the competition. “It’s amazing that we could take so many girls,” said Coach Lang. “This early in the season, it’s rare to have that many girls who are in shape to race safely, and really want to. I’m just so proud of our team!” Coach Lang has reason to be proud. The team is undefeated, and looks forward to racing on Northfield Mount Herman’s challenging and technical course next weekend. NMH has struggled so far this season, but will look to get back on track when they race Exeter on Saturday.