With long, fluid strides, Grace Rademacher ’18 finished in 18:30, leading Andover Girls Cross Country to a 15-46 victory against two-time defending New England Champion Deerfield on Saturday. The victory extended Andover’s undefeated season.
As parents crowded the finish line, Andover swept the top five for another perfect finish.
Michaela Jones ’18 and Carmen Bango ’16 finished behind Rademacher in 18:48 and 19:03, respectively. These same three runners led the pack during Andover’s only other home meet against St. Paul’s three weeks ago. Jones managed to improve her time by an impressive 12 seconds, while Rademacher again kept her mile time at 5:58.39.
Captain Anoush Shehadeh ’15 and Peyton McGovern ’16 rounded out Andover’s top five and completed the course in 19:11 and 19:33, respectively. Andover’s top five has taken the top five overall places in all of its regular season meets except for the meet against St. Paul’s. Shehadeh did not compete at St. Paul’s due to illness.
Sharon Platt ’15 and Sharon Zhang ’16 finished ninth and tenth overall in 20:41 and 20:53, respectively, to round out Andover’s Top Seven.
Parker Tope ’16 and Olivia Brokaw ’18 came in 11th and 12th place overall with times of 20:58 and 21:46, respectively.
Andover’s success can partly be attributed to the team’s camaraderie, which the runners have developed over the course of the season.
“In my experience, almost all runners are extremely friendly and supportive of each other, and that attitude makes it easy to adjust to new teams and groups. Also, [Shehadeh] and the other upperclassmen are very inclusive towards the new students. I settled pretty quickly because of the great team dynamic,” said Rademacher.
In addition to great team morale, Andover’s youth and depth is unrivaled in the NEPSAC League — ten of the top 15 runners were Andover competitors.
McGovern added, “I think we’re a very talented team this year, but I think it’s also a desire to win. We’re so motivated and we want to win for not only ourselves, but for all the girls on the team.”
Andover will travel to face rival Exeter on Saturday. Andover seeks to hold its undefeated record against an Exeter team riding a four-meet win streak.
Rademacher, however, is already looking ahead to Interschols. “We are killing it this season. We are excited to have some actual competition at Interschols and we have been working really hard to get ready for that, along with some post-season racing for a couple of us. We are an extremely strong team and want to prove it,” Rademacher said.