Andover Secures Decisive Victory; 15 Personal Bests Achieved in Race

The Girls Cross Country team stepped up its intensity for parents’ weekend. The team reached success unparalleled this season, sweeping the meet 15 – 50, and securing the top nine places. The entire team was a part of this success – out of 27 Andover girls running, 15 broke their personal best times. Abby Levene ’09, winner of the race, said, “We have a really hard course, and I don’t think that the Deerfield runners realized that. They started fast, but the Andover girls didn’t let that affect them. We just ran our own race, and it paid off by the end.” Marhelich Santos ’12 displayed the most improvement. She ran the course in 23:31, over three minutes faster than her previous record, 26:40. Santos said, “Our practices were gradually getting harder and I had a really good week. I put much more effort into the practices, so I was expecting a little improvement, but I was so excited when I found out how much faster I ran”. A tradition of the Girls Cross Country team is getting a t-shirt after breaking a certain time. Santos said, “Actually getting the ‘under 24 club’ shirt was a big thing. It’s so cool!” Among those who ran personal bests was Abby Levene ’09, who won the meet in 18:16, twelve seconds faster than her previous record. Levene was 35 seconds faster than the next runner. “When I got onto the great lawn, I realized that it was the last time I would be running there. I think that made me run faster, but it also made me sad. Crossing the finish line was bittersweet.” said Levene. Another personal best went to Stephanie Moroney ’09, who was one of three girls to run the course in under nineteen minutes. She came in second, with a time of 18:51. Dewdney, ran the course in 18:59. Although she was happy about reaching her goal of breaking 19:00, Dewdney was melancholy about finishing her last home meet in her Andover career: “I was so sad. I crossed the line and I started laughing and crying. It was sad but it was also really happy and I couldn’t have asked for more.” Ten of the girls on the team are seniors, and ran their home course for the last time on Saturday. Even Juniors looking forward to three more seasons of Cross Country felt a little sad as they finished. “I really enjoyed this season,” said Santos. This is a common thought; all seven of the juniors on the team look forward to the time when they will be seniors. This Saturday, Andover will face Exeter on the opposition’s fast and flat course.