Track Wins First Meet at Home; Newcomers Shine in First Races

After a flawless display of talent while jumping the hurdles, Joe Kruy ’12 crossed the finish line to break the freshman record. At the quad-meet on Wednesday, track athletes from all events sprinted, jogged and jumped in every direction. All of the athletes and spectators had to dodge one another, creating chaos – the natural atmosphere of an indoor track meet. Despite this craziness, Andover athletes focused on their events and started off the season well against Hyde, Wilbraham and Governor’s. Coach Farrell, the long jump coach, said, “New jumpers really just wanted to get in legal jumps – it’s very hard to hit the mark when you’re still learning. Our returning jumpers had a goal mainly to be close to their personal records from last season, and they mainly accomplished this as most came six to twelve inches from their PRs.” Coach Callum, who trains hurdlers and sprinters, said, “We like to see athletes start where they left off last season, and we were seeing that today.” He continued, “It’s hard for runners to be as fast as they were at the end of last season at the start of the next, but we’re pretty close.” Many of the older runners did accomplish this, leading Andover to win decisively. In the jumping events, Captain Mide Babatunde ’09 led the high jumpers, winning at a height of 5’2. Long jump was led by Maggie Law ’10 and Eddie Zhang ’09. The two girl shot putters placed first and second, and the boys placed first, second, third and fifth. The highlights of the meet, however, certainly came from newcomers. One of the most impressive performances of the day was Joe Kruy ’12. He not only won the fastest heat of the 50-meter hurdles, but also broke the previous ninth-grade record by almost half a second, a huge amount of time for sprinters, with a time of 7.16 seconds. “This is my third year running,” said Kruy, “but I was very surprised with my performance. I really enjoy track, though, and I’m looking forward to this season.” Bobby Vardaro ’10, who had only just started shot put eight days before the meet, not only won but came very close to beating the previous Upper record. Coach Bernieri said, “It’s very impressive, being so successful at his first meet. I’m looking forward to seeing how he does in the rest of the season.” Cayla Hatton ’12, although a seasoned track runner, proved her worth with her first race for Andover. She won the girls’ mile with a time of 5:29, beating all of her competition by over 45 seconds. She said, “I felt pretty comfortable. I was a bit nervous, since I’d only run outside before, but it was a great new experience.” Hatton says that she is excited for Saturday’s meet, commenting, “I was fairly pleased with my time, but I would like to go faster on Saturday.” The track team, incredibly successful in its first meet, is looking forward to its next meet at Harvard on Sunday. This meet is hosted by Greater Boston Track Club, and it will be a bigger and more competitive meet than Wednesday’s.