Despite another strong performance by Ian Whittall ’14, Andover Boys Cross Country failed to outpace Exeter on Saturday.
Andover lost 41-18 after four Exeter runners crossed the finish line before any Andover runner.
“The Exeter team is the best in the league, and they’re heavily favored to win the championship on Saturday,” said Coach Jeffrey Domina. “The boys ran really well against them, however, and recorded some excellent PRs. It was a great day in spite of the lopsided scores.”
Exeter’s top runner finished with a time of 15:48 and was closely followed by three of his teammates, who finished with times of 16:11, 16:14 and 16:17. Andover’s top three runners all finished before Exeter’s fifth: Whittall with a time of 16:30, Kevin Fung ’13 at 16:48 and Ethan McIntosh ’15 at 16:53.
“Whittall held on brilliantly, battling Exeter’s first through fourth along their flat, fast home course, while teammates Kevin Fung and Ethan McIntosh kept him in sight,” said Domina.
Exeter is likely the toughest competition Andover has faced all season. “As far as Exeter’s weaknesses go, they don’t seem to have any. Their team is incredibly strong this year, and it’s a really exciting thing to see,” said Co-Captain Patrick Naughter ’13. “They have four runners at the top who ran brilliant races, and all we could do was give the best performance we could. That being said, our runners ran extremely well.”
Tomorrow, Andover will travel to Loomis-Chaffee for Interschols, where the loss to Exeter will hopefully motivate the team to succeed.
After running in the final dual meets of their Andover careers, Naughter and Co-Captain Connor Fraser ’13 reflected on their experiences as Co-Captains this season.
“I’ve been honored to lead the team this year,” said Fraser. “Even though we haven’t had all the success that we wanted or have had in past years, we’ve worked hard as a group to improve. Now, heading into Interschols on Saturday, we are determined to run a race that we can look back upon and be proud of.”
“This season has been wonderful for me as both a Captain and a runner. Just over the course of about seven races, the development we’ve seen in all our runners is amazing. I’m really excited to see how the team does next year, because the strength of the freshmen, lowers and uppers is really promising,” Naughter said.