In one of the most nail-biting finishes of the season, Nathan Goldthwaite ’18 and Colby Lapointe ’16 bursted past four Phillips Exeter Academy runners in the final stretch of Andover’s home course to secure seventh and eighth place, respectively, with times of 17:16 and 17:22. The duo’s breathtaking finish gave Andover the edge in a 26-29 victory, breaking Exeter’s five-year winning streak against Andover and finishing the team’s regular season with a record of 4-2.
Captain Ralph Skinner ’16 said, “[There were] huge stakes: it was really competitive. You know Exeter always has such a strong team. We hadn’t beaten them since 2010, so we knew that it was gonna be a tough task, but all the guys were up for it and gave it their all. I’m really happy with how the team performed.”
Although the runners from both teams maintained a rapid pace, it wasn’t until the end when the action really picked up. In the final stretch, Holden Ringer ’16 raced across the finish line following the first place Exeter runner to secure second place with a time of 16:37. Following Ringer was Henry Spritz ’19, who, in an immense display of athleticism, passed two Exeter runners on the Great Lawn. His sheer determination allowed him to secure third place with a time of 16:55.
Ringer said, “Exeter has a great number one. He made tremendous strides when his team was depleted of talent and was a great competitor. I was trying to compete with him the entire race. He really knew how to run the downhills, and I just did what I could to help the team.”
Spritz said, “Coach Riley told us to forget about our stress and just pass as many Exeter runners as possible and that’s what we did.”
Following Andover’s top two finishers, Skinner placed sixth overall with a time of 17:05. Goldthwaite and Lapointe rounded out Andover’s runners to clinch the victory.
Goldthwaite wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “Colby and I were shoulder to shoulder at the last mile, and we were both pushing each other to catch them. It was only at the last lawn loop that I decided I wasn’t going to let those guys finish before me.”
Additionally, Alex Emerson ’17 had a fantastic race, achieving a new Personal Record (PR) with a time of 17:57. Right behind Emerson was Post-Graduate (PG) Patrick Dolan ’16 with a time of 18:00.
Dolan wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “It was really a team effort. Initially, everyone was a bit nervous. After all, we were racing Exeter, our nemesis. But I had trained for that moment my entire life. I knew that everything was on the line. I gave it my all, and I decided that it was integral that I finished strong. Although my time was not my personal record, I felt accomplished and gratified to be a part of the team that bested Exeter for the first time in five years.”
With Andover’s regular season over, the team is completely focused on competing at Interschols.
Goldthwaite said, “The competition [at Interschols] is pretty strong, but I think we’ve all trained hard enough that we’ll see some real contention this Saturday. No one gave up yesterday, and I think our motivation and relentless drive will be key in our final race of the season.”
Andover prepares to finish its season on a high note at Interschols on November 14.