Despite rain and chilly temperatures, Peyton McGovern ’16 cruised across Exeter’s finish line with a time of 18:30 to win her third race of the season. McGovern led a crushing Andover Girls Cross Country 17-42 victory over Exeter.
Seven of Andover’s nine runners finished in the top ten against Exeter, and the victory secured an undefeated 5-0 season for the team.
Michaela Jones ’18 and Grace Rademacher ’18 finished right behind McGovern in 18:35 and 18:40, respectively. Anoush Shehadeh ’15 and Carmen Bango ’16 rounded Andover’s top five and top five overall finishes in times of 18:48 and 18:49, respectively.
“Our team did really well against Exeter, unsurprisingly. Our Varsity team all ran under 20:30, which is impressive,” said Rademacher.
Andover’s top pack of McGovern, Jones, Rademacher, Shehadeh and Bango has finished first for Andover in all but one meet this season.
Sharon Platt ’15 and Parker Tope ’16 finished together in 20:07 to take ninth and tenth place overall. Sharon Zhang ’16 and Qiqi Ren ’15 followed in 11th and 12th overall at 20:24 and 20:25, respectively.
“We went to Exeter bringing our ‘A’-game more than usual, because we knew that they were trying to beat us this year. Last year, they didn’t bring that much competition, but this year they tried pretty hard to beat us,” said Zhang.
“What we did going in was just stick in packs like [Coach Rebecca Hession] told us and just run as hard as we could without jeopardizing our chances in Interschols,” said Zhang.
Andover will conclude its season with the NEPSAC Division I Cross Country Championships (Interschols) this Sunday.
Two key runners for Andovers at NEPSAC Division I Cross Country Championships (Interschols) will be McGovern and Shehadeh, three-year veterans of the Championships. Shehadeh is a two-year reigning Interschols champion and set a New England record at last year’s Interschols.
After a strong season, Rademacher, Jones and Bango will also figure as important runners.
Andover maintains a history of winning Interschols and held a six-year reign at the top from 2005 to 2010. With an undefeated record this season, Andover is a favorite to take first place at Interschols for the first time in four years.
“I feel pretty confident about Interschols. We are very well prepared and have a great attitude about anything that could happen on race day. I am confident in our abilities as a team. We are going to work on our pack running and not letting the other teams mess with our mentalities on Sunday,” said Rademacher.
Andover’s biggest challenger to the title will be Deerfield, the two-time reigning champions. Andover outraced Deerfield 15-46 at home earlier this season.
St. Paul’s will also figure into Andover’s main competitors at Interschols. St. Paul’s was the only school whose top runner placed first overall in a meet against Andover.
“As a team, we have a really good shot of winning. It’s just staying in the right mode and performing on the day,” said Zhang.
Andover will travel over four hours to Interschols at Hotchkiss on Sunday, November 9.