Returning from a second-place finish at last year’s New England Prep School Division I Cross Country Championship (Interschols), Andover Boys Cross Country hopes to bring home first place this coming November, led by a strong pack of experienced runners.
“Last year, Interschols was definitely the main highlight of the season for us. Everyone ran well and contributed to a second-place effort,” said Ralph Skinner ’16, who finished fourth for Andover at the Championship.
Although Ian Whittall ’14, the 2013 season’s top runner, graduated, this year’s outstanding Senior class has more than enough talent to lead the team to a similar finish this year.
“This year, actually, I believe we’ll be stronger. We graduated only two runners, and while they were at the top of our pack, given the huge number of athletes that we still have that we can develop this season, we’re really looking for the win [at Interschols],” said John Gorton ’15.
“[The Seniors] are notable for their talent as runners, their commitment to their training and their long experience on the team,” wrote Head Coach Jeffrey Domina in an email to The Phillipian.
Last year, more than half of Andover’s Interschols team consisted of members of the Class of 2015, who each finished in the Top 40, more than any other school at the meet. In addition to their exceptional running skill, these Seniors, led by Captain Ethan McIntosh ’15, show the potential to be accomplished leaders who can guide the team to a successful season. In addition to McIntosh, the returning Seniors from the Top Seven include Paul McGovern ’15, Kailash Sundaram ’15 and Tom Burnett ’15.
“[The Seniors’] impact will reach beyond the scoresheet. Their leadership will make a big difference in the team camaraderie this year, creating a healthy atmosphere for growing as runners and people,” said Skinner.
“As Seniors this year, a lot of our leadership has to do with maintaining [the success from last year], but we also need to make the team as inclusive as possible for the younger runners. In a year where so many of the stronger runners are older—so many of us are Seniors—it’s really important that those younger athletes find a home now so that they can continue to run for the team in the years after we graduate,” said Gorton.
The new underclassmen additions to the team have shown show great potential, and progress from the returning underclassmen runners will be vital to the team’s hopes at Interschols come November.
“Our main goal, as always, is to see every member of the team, from the top of Varsity right on down through the training group, develop healthily and happily as an individual runner and as a contributor to the team,” added Domina.
The team will kick off its season with an inter-squad time trial tomorrow in preparation for the team’s first regular season meet on September 27 at Northfield Mount Hermon.