Despite Injury, Jamieson ’12 Secures 15th Overall at Interschols

Despite the advantage of hosting Interschols for the first time in 10 years, Andover Girls Cross Country was only able to secure an eighth out of 11 finish in its final meet on Saturday.

“Andover faced unusual circumstances this year with kids not able to train as much as normal due to illness, injury, and priorities,” said Nancy Lang, Coach of Girls Cross Country. “Given where we started, they should be proud of their journey. We’d rather have the team who finished in eighth place and supports each other with full hearts than a first place team with only talent and no heart.“

One of these injuries happened to Captain Katie Ellinger ’12, who had to drop out midrace due to a hip injury.

Kelsey Jamieson ’12 placed first for Andover and led the team despite a hip injury that left her limping after the race. Jamieson finished 15th overall with a time of 20:01.

Jamieson, having run in multiple Interschols before, implemented a strategy of her own for the race. She said, “I made sure not to race the Great Lawn much faster than in a regular season race.”

Jamieson’s strategy proved to be effective. After running the first mile in midst of the competition, Jamieson picked up her pace, passing 15 runners by the end of the meet.

Marhelich Santos ’12 followed Jamieson, covering the course in 20:41 and placing 35th overall, enough to set a personal record. Andover’s next three runners, Rachel Wittenberg ’13, Hailey Novis ’13 and Evelyn Tackett ’15, followed in quick succession, finishing only 15 seconds apart.

Lang said that Varsity’s substandard race was due in part not only to an eerie feeling of hosting Interschols but also a feeling of almost being too prepared, having run races only on the Andover course during the season. “It definitely wasn’t our best Varsity Race, but on the other hand, it was a combination of spectacular races and poor races,” she said. “The sum total was clearly not what the girls wanted, but they have accepted it with grace and dignity.”

Notwithstanding a poor Varsity showing, the JV girls fared well, taking home the JV Championship title in the process. Mary-Catherine Nanda ’14 garnered a third place finish with a time of 21:58. She was closely followed by Campbell Howe ’14, who finished fifth overall in 22:04. Andover brought in two more inside of the top 20, with MJ Engel ’13 and Elana King-Nakaoka ’14 completing the race in 22:19 and 22:33, respectively.

The team also elected a captain on Wednesday for the 2012 Cross Country season: rising Senior Hailey Novis ’13. Under Novis’ skillful leadership, the team hopes to keep its good attitude but achieve a stronger record.