Girls XC Places 10th Of 23

Led by Kate Bulger ’11 and Captain Caitlin Kingston ’11, Andover Girls Cross Country finished an impressive tenth place out of 23 teams in the Codfish Bowl this past weekend. Despite the heat, the girls competed well against college and club teams in their productive season opener. “Our goal was to have fun this week. This was not the week to give it all out on the course, but rather to get warmed up for the season ahead,” said Coach Nancy Lang. “It was a strong start to the season, and I’m very proud of these girls.” Bulger led the way for Andover, finishing 19th with a solid time of 20:21. Kingston followed close behind, crossing the line in 28th place in 20:46. Next for Andover came Kelsey Jamieson ’l2; 21:58, Katherine Ellinger ’12; 22:06 and Alexandra Morrow ’12; 22:07. Although the heat seemed to take a toll, it did not faze the positive attitude of the team. “Coming in as a high school team we didn’t have many expectations, so our results were really exciting. We never get to experience racing against college teams at any other time in the season so it is always a really special experience to start off the season against good competition,” said Kingston.“ Everyone came in with a great attitude and it made for a really fun day, despite the heat.” Pack running was key to the team’s success Saturday, as over 243 racers participated in the race. By running together, the girls were able to pace themselves well and push each other throughout the race. “We worked really well together, pushing and motivating each other,” said Jamieson. Pack running proved extremely helpful especially near the end of the race, when the heat and humidity hurt the most. At one point Ellinger suffered from the extreme heat, but with the help of her teammates she made a strong push to finish. “Although it seems like running isn’t a team sport, it makes a huge difference to be running next to a teammate instead of strangers,” explained Ellinger. Looking to build on their season opener, the team will seek to utilize the pack-running strategy more effectively. Mental and physical toughness will also be a key to success. However, the squad will look to bring greater depth to the next race, headed by the leadership of their strong core of runners. “Its very early in the season, though, so I think we’ll know more after the Andover Invitational,” said Ellinger. Andover looks to continue its early success this Saturday at the annual Andover Developmental Invitational.