Andover Boys Cross Country defeated NMH this past Saturday in a strategic and skillful victory on the road. The team has its wins down to a science, and is confident heading into the most important section of the season with races in the next two weeks against two strong opponents, Deerfield and Exeter. Coach Jeffrey Domina was very enthusiastic about the win. “Our guys ran together well, pushing each other up the hills and through the other tough sections.” “Even without their captain, Patrick Wolber ’11, the boys beat NMH 16-44.” Andover found very little competition on the tough Mount Hernon layout, and without straying from the usual formula, Renat Zalov ’11 finished first in 16:54. Zalov’s time was only 13 seconds off of the course record. With Wolber out of the race due to fatigue, Andover’s varsity seven ran with confidence and proved that even without one of their top athletes that they could dominate. The JV team also ran beautifully and pulled off a rare perfect race, beating NMH 15-50. NMH’s hilly course brought the Andover runners back to last year’s heartbreaking Championship loss to Loomis Chaffee. This weekend was the first time Andover had seen the course since its defeat and the team remembered it too well. Wolber recalled the powerful emotions the course brought back. “As we ran NMH’s course to warm up, everyone was silent. We were haunted by the memories of the mud, pouring rain, and grueling hills in the devastating loss to Loomis last year.” Despite the bad memories, the Andover runners truly dominated the field this past Saturday. Coach Domina still believes there is room to improve, however, saying, “We need to tighten up the pack.” A tight pack is key to winning big races, but Domina is confident in his team’s abilities. “The team is strong; it’s all about speed now: speed, sleep, and staying healthy. We’re in such a good place; there’s a lot of excitement ahead.” With its undefeated season still very much underway, Andover looks to carry its momentum into its home race against Deerfield this weekend. For the seniors, it will be their last race at Andover. The boys will surely be looking to leave their final mark on the course and will not only be hoping to crush Deerfield, but maybe to break some records as well.