Girls XC Sweeps Inteschols

Led by Kate Bulger ’11, Andover Girls Cross Country took five of the top fifteen spots in a thrilling race last Saturday, to capture its sixth straight New England Prep School Division 1 Championship. Despite the heavy competition, the Andover squad looked strong, managing to edge out tough contenders such as Nobles and Hotchkiss. “At the starting line, I told the team to leave it all on the course and have no regrets. I told them to race for their teammates, their coaches, and themselves,” said Captain Caitlin Kingston ’11. Andover entered a smaller squad of seven runners in the varsity race, all finishing under 21 minutes. With all their hard work on the line, the Andover squad got out to a fast start and held on until the finish. Bulger finished in a close 3rd at 19:06, only behind a Nobles and Deerfield runner, who set the Deerfield course record with a time of 17:55. Not far behind was Kelsey Jamieson ’11 in 6th, Kristen Faulkner’11 in 10th, Kingston in 12th, and Marga Kempner ’12 in 15th. Against such a strong field, Andover utilized strategy to pass runners and maintain its position. “Many of our runners have very similar times and therefore ran in packs, to push each other and help the team overall. Every runner counts,” said Faulkner. The team unity was especially important with the disadvantage of competing on a less familiar Deerfield course. The team also aimed to displace the competition to lower their opponents’ scores and better their chances of victory. “The goal was to pass as many Nobles and Hotchkiss girls as possible because they were our main opponents,” said Kingston. Andover’s junior varsity squad had even greater success in their race. Alex Morrow’12 took first, as junior varsity swept the top six spots and earned their respective title. Once again, Andover’s depth proved essential to the team’s dominance. “Many of our JV runners would have scored well in the varsity race,” explained Faulkner. Andover’s core of veteran runners was key to the team’s success, encouraging and setting examples for younger runners throughout the season, and ultimately proving their ability at Interschols. For Captain Kingston, the victory was especially meaningful. Kingston said, “Our win meant the world to me. I had been part of the winning Interschols team my junior, lower, and upper years, so I really wanted my last season to end the same way. I was so proud of everyone for stepping up and racing their hearts out.” The Interschols titles capped off an amazing season. Next year’s team looks to continue the Andover tradition of sweeping Interschols and running another perfect season.