Boys Cross Country Fall Sports Sports

Boys Reign on Home Course

Fueled by a large crowd of family and friends celebrating Andover’s annual Family Weekend, Andover Boys Cross Country darted to a strong 15-47 victory over Deerfield.

The race was the Seniors’ last race on the home course. Andover’s Seniors are Tejas Arya ’15, Tom Burnett ’15, Arthur Doran ’15, John Gorton ’15, Keton Kakkar ’15, Max Lee ’15, Paul McGovern ’15, Captain Ethan McIntosh ’15, Kailash Sundaram ’15, Abhinav Venigalla ’15 and Tas Yusoontorn ’15.

With a home-course advantage, Andover runners swept the overall top five spots. McIntosh crossed the finish line first in a season-best time of 16:16. The time marked Andover’s fastest this season.

Gorton and McGovern pushed each other through the final stretch to finish second and third overall in 17:05 and 17:06, respectively. Following close behind, Colby LaPointe ’16 and Burnett finished in 17:26 and 17:29, respectively, both personal best times.

After Deerfield’s first runner finished, Doran and Venigalla finished in 17:48 and 18:00, respectively, to round out Andover’s Top Seven. Ralph Skinner ’16 did not compete due to injury.

Andover’s success comes on the heels of difficult speed work. The team focused on 1000-meter track repeats and fast-paced workouts this past week.

“I, along with several others, reached [personal records] mainly from the amount of work we had put in during a long week of track workouts and tempo runs,” said LaPointe.

Andover’s 5K course begins and ends on the Great Lawn. After crossing through the Great Lawn and the Pine Knoll, runners enter a 1.7-mile Cochran Bird Sanctuary lap. The lap includes a tough climb up to the Log Cabin and a steep ascent to the top of “Heartbreak Hill.” Upon completing the Sanctuary lap, runners exit through the gates, cross the Knoll again and climb the hill to the Great Lawn. Runners are propelled for the last 600 meters and to the finish line by supporters on the Great Lawn.

Andover will begin to decrease mileage as it prepares for Interschols.

“We’re going to work on how to run in a bigger, faster meet, and we’re going to focus on staying healthy and rested so that we can perform at our best,” said Head Coach Jeffrey Domina.

Andover will face rival Exeter on Saturday. If Andover wins, it will be the Seniors’ first Andover-Exeter victory and Andover’s first since 2010.

“Exeter fields a really strong team, and they always give us a good race. This year is no different. They have a lot of depth and good strength so it should be close. We run against them the week after as well in the Championship so it will be good to see how we match up to them and how the team improves,” said Skinner.