Confident and fit, Girls Cross Country enters the season prepared for success. As defending New England Champions, the team looks to keep up the momentum with a strong start. Led by Captain Caitlin Kingston ’11 and a strong group of returning veterans, the team is poised to continue dominating the competition. Kingston said, “The team is really confident and has a fantastic attitude. I am so excited to be running with everyone again. I think if we focus our efforts we have a good chance of winning New England’s.” Kate Bulger ’11 said, “I think the team is looking incredibly strong going into this season. Everyone is pumped up and in a fierce yet healthy place physically and mentally. As long as we stay motivated and happy, I’m not worried.” With such focus and determination to meet and surpass their goals, it isn’t a surprise that the team has had so much success in the past as it seeks to win its 5th consecutive championship this season. With all the runners in good health through preseason, the team is set to continue improving. Kingston, Bulger, and Katie Ellinger ’12 will set the pace this year as the team’s top three returning runners. As the dominant trio in the league last year, they look to continue their success this season as the best runners in the league. New to the squad this year is Cayla Hatton ’12. An accomplished track runner and a phenomenal all-around athlete, Hatton will complement the top three nicely and provide the depth that Andover needs to win races early and block out its opponents. Last season the team was the undisputed leader in New England as it won the New England Championships and lost only once during the regular season. The loss to St. Paul’s came as a shock to the team as it was its first loss in three years. The team, however, bounced back and stayed the course, beating St. Paul’s for its fourth consecutive New England Championship. Bulger said, “We did the best thing we could do after that, and got more and more motivated and energized.” Winning the championship was a high for the team, and a hard earned reward. The JV team has been even more successful, as it has won nine out of its last eleven championships. Looking forward to a new season, Coach Lang will continue to stress the fundamental ideals that have made the team so strong in the past. She said, “Positive attitude, genuine effort, and commitment to the team, are our priorities. Our goal at this point is to take the season one practice, and one race at a time.” The team will run its first race at the Codfish Bowl on September 25th.