After ten days of vigorous training in practice, Andover runners claimed four of the five top finishes, sprinting to a 20-41 victory over Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) on an exceptionally hilly course last Saturday.
Captain Ethan McIntosh ’15 led Andover’s push, finishing in second place with a time of 17:02. His finish marked the 14th fastest time in NMH’s course history, 23 seconds faster than his last race there on September 27 at the NMH Invitational.
Paul McGovern ’15 and Ralph Skinner ’16 continued to work together, with McGovern finishing in 17:53 and Skinner finishing in 17:54 to place third and fourth overall, respectively.
John Gorton ’15 was close behind in 18:15 to finish fourth for Andover and fifth overall. Abhinav Venigalla ’15, Tom Burnett ’15 and Arthur Doran ’15 rounded out Andover’s Top Seven in 18:42, 18:46 and 19:05, respectively.
Venigalla’s performance moved him from the top of the Junior Varsity runners to the top five runners on the Varsity team. Venigalla finished the course only 11 seconds slower than his personal record time of 18:31, which was set on a less hilly Andover course.
“I wasn’t expecting to finish up front on Saturday, as it was only my third race with Varsity this year. It came as quite a surprise, as I ran over a minute slower at NMH earlier this season. It was a really exciting race, and I look forward to running on our home course on [Family] Weekend,” said Venigalla ’15.
After a slow start up the steep hill and a series of rolling woods, both Venigalla and Gorton moved past NMH runners in the stretch of the course in the woods. The two runners then caught Burnett and worked together through the remaining tough uphills. Gorton moved ahead towards the end to finish just 27 seconds faster than Venigalla and 31 seconds faster than Burnett.
Andover continued with difficult training this week. On Tuesday, the team ran five 1000-meter pieces with 75 to 90 seconds of rest between each piece.
Andover will look to feed off the energy from a larger-than-normal crowd for another victory this Family Weekend. A victory against Deerfield would be Andover’s fourth this season and would allow the team to maintain an undefeated record. The race will also be the last home course meet for Andover’s Seniors. The four-year Varsity Seniors on the team are Doran, McGovern and Kailash Sundaram ’15.