Kelsey Jamieson ’12, running the course in 20:00, and Katie Ellinger ’12, Captain of Girls Cross Country, with a time of 20:55, led the way for Andover Girls Cross Country, finishing third and fifth, respectively, in Andover’s 34-21 loss to Deerfield on Saturday.
Ellinger said, “I was hoping to beat Deerfield’s number three runner. We stayed together until the last half mile, and at the end, she had more left in her legs, and she beat me out. However, we were very close the entire race. This time it was her, but next time it could just as easily be me – we’ll find [out] at Interschols.”
Close behind, Molly Levene ’12 crossed the finish line in 21:02. After running most of the race with Hailey Novis ’13, who finished the course in 21:12, and Marhelich Santos ’12, who earned a time of 21:17, Levene sprinted ahead to the finish line, overtaking a stunned Deerfield runner and nearly passing another.
Ellinger said, “Molly Levene had a really amazing finish. She was right next to a Deerfield girl, whom she beat out, and she almost caught another one as well. Overall, she ran really well, and achieved a Personal Record. Considering that her previous personal record was on Exeter’s course, where runners can improve by almost a whole minute, this is a great milestone to be attained on a much more difficult course. She’s been improving all season, and now she’s getting fast at just the right time.”
Soon after Santos’s finish, Deerfield’s final three runners completed the course, rounding out its top seven. Andover’s sixth through 12th runners followed close behind, led by Evelyn Tackett ’15, who finished the course in 22:03. The seven runners held together in a tight pack, finishing only twenty-four seconds apart.
Unfortunately for Andover, the team suffered a 34-21 loss to Deerfield.
Coach Nancy Lang said, “Facing threatening weather, a few scratches from the roster due to illness and injury and Deerfield’s undefeated record, I was proud of our girls for mixing it in with their top five. They recruited some strong, solid and consistent girls this year who have a lot of talent and are helping carrying the team to victories. Along with the help of some returning runners, Deerfield is the strongest contender in the league this year.”
Unlike previous weeks, Andover will taper in the coming days in preparation for Exeter and Interschols, focusing primarily on low-mileage workouts. “We’re going to be focusing on getting our bodies fully rested and recovered so we can be in proper condition for crucial races,” said Ellinger.
On Wednesday, the team was able to practice with nine-time USA Cross Country Champion and Olympic Bronze Medalist Lynn Jennings, hoping to learn more about how to run a successful race.
Andover looks forward to hosting rival Exeter on Saturday in its last race of the official season.