Andover Takes It Easy in First Race

Kelsey Jamieson ’12 and Hailey Novis ’13, with impressive times of 21:16 and 21:31, respectively, were Andover’s top two finishers on Saturday at the Codfish Bowl 5k, the team’s first race of the season.

These times were enough for the two runners to place 89th and 106th place. Captain Katie Ellinger ’12 came in close behind with a time of 21:39. “The three of us were pretty close for most of the race, so we encouraged each other throughout, which was really nice and definitely helped all of us,” said Ellinger.

Andover travelled to Franklin Park for the race, where it competed against teams of all divisions and ages. The team placed 15th out of 24 teams.

The race, very early in the year, was meant to serve as a transition into the team’s regular season. Novis said, “It was more of a learning race than a [competitive] race for our team. We ran it more to get back into the feel of running. After being sidelined with an injury for most of last season, it just felt great to get my feet back on the ground and racing.”

Newcomers Rachel Murree ’14 and Elana King-Nakaoka ’14 performed well, with times of 23:25 and 24:08, respectively. Muree commented, “I have been running cross country for two years in high school, but I was injured for the majority of last season so last Saturday was my first cross country race in months. I was a little nervous before the race, but overall I felt strong, and it was a great run to start the season with.”

Before the race, Coach Nancy Lang told the runners to run for their own gain and not to compete against the other runners. Lang said, “I give the girls the guideline, that they need to cross the finish line of this race with a smile – they are supposed to run with the goal of learning something, but they are not to push themselves to their limits.

Looking ahead in the season, the depth of the Girls’ Cross Country team gives the team confidence as it moves forward into the season and looks to capture its seventh straight title. With an extremely tight-knit team that has the experience of veteran runners and a strong captain, the team’s goal certainly seems achievable.

The team will head to Northfield Mount Hermon for the NMH Invitational on Saturday, October 1st.