Vardaro ’10 Shatters Upper Shot Put Record With 50’08” Throw

Phillips Andover’s Track team may have met tough competition at Andover High School, but such close competition only led to better personal performance. On Saturday, Bobby Vardaro ’10 broke the Upper record for shot put and 47 season’s bests were set. Vardaro, a new shot putter, has been getting closer to the class record at each meet and on Saturday he finally broke it by over two feet. He threw 50’ 08”, shattering the previous record of 48’9” set by Anwell Lanfranc ’03. At this point Vardaro and other athletes are only expected to improve. Coach Patrick Farrell said, “This is the point in the season where hard workouts can lead to less than optimal performance. The payoff from these hard workouts is still two to three weeks away – just in time for Exeter.” In the long jump, Michael Wang ’11 jumped over 18 feet for the first time this season, taking first in the event. Coming in a close second behind Wang, Eddy Zhang ’09 continued his impressive season by jumping 17’ 09”. Ziwe Fumodoh ’10 continued to improve her own personal record, taking fourth place with a jump of 13’ 8”. “We are hopeful that she’ll pop off a 14-footer at the next meet,” said Coach Farrell. Although Andover came in behind AHS overall, runners did very well in individual events. Andover boys won six of 11 events, and in the 300 the boys swept all four places. Mide Babatunde ’09 came in first, followed by Peter Hetzler ’10, Ram Narayan ’10 and Matthew Higgins ’10. The Andover girls team ran impressively as well, taking first in three events. Captain Deidra Willis ’09 won the 50, Stassja Sichko ’10 won the 600, and Colleen Flanagan ’10 won the 300. Flanagan did not win the 300 easily, though. Coach Corbin Lang said, “Flanagan ran a gutsy 300 for the win, battling an AHS runner all the way.” These successes are especially impressive when the two teams are compared. Many of the Andover runners were unable to run due to sickness and injury and AHS ended up bringing almost twice as many runners. However, Andover runners are on the mend and expect to be ready to race again next Wednesday against rival Phillips Exeter. Last year, Exeter had several talented runners on their roster, and Andover hopes to be ready when the challenge comes.