Andover Boys Cross Country snagged its first win of the season on Saturday in a tight race against Deerfield by a score of 27-32. The race was also Andover’s first home race of the season. Ian Whittall ’13 led the pack throughout the race and finished first, running the course in 16:23, just seconds short of the course record. Deerfield’s strongest runner attempted to make a move near the end of the race, but Whittall was able to muster just enough strength to power through and finish the race victorious. Deerfield’s next best runners finished behind their teammate in third and fourth place overall. The next six runners to cross the finish line were all from Andover. Ethan McIntosh ’15, Kevin Fung ’13, Scott Diekema ’14, Kailash Sundaram ’15, Matt Fischetti ’14 and Paul McGovern ’15 finished in that order and were all huge contributors to the Andover win. Of the 44 runners on both boys Varsity and Junior Varsity, 17 were running for the first time this season. Although the team has had a difficult start to the season due to injuries, the team’s collective unity shined through during the race. “Winning isn’t what made the day so special. For the first time this season, I really felt a part of a team I wanted to be on, something present in the past years but [that] had been recently missing. I felt like we were a team. That notion was only reinforced by the win, not determined by it,” J.D. Schink ’13 said. With this momentum, Andover is preparing for its final and most important meets of the season: Exeter and Interschols. Andover will face Exeter tomorrow and will compete at Interschols the following Saturday. “Deerfield was good for us because our hard work finally paid off, and that race puts us in a really good position for our next two races,” said Co-Captain Connor Fraser ’13. “It will give us a lot of motivation going into Exeter and Interschols, knowing that we can work well together as a team,” he continued. “The Exeter race is always a great race. We’ll be ready to race at our best,” said Head Coach Jeffrey Domina.