Coming off of back-to-back championships, Andover Girls Cross Country looks to match last season’s undefeated record with another strong performance this year. The team will be led by Captain Morgan Rooney ’17, as well as Seniors Whitney Garden ’17, Marina Hunt ’17, and Susan Yun ’17.
During preseason, the girls reconnected with each other and set goals for the rest of the season.
“Preseason really helped shape our team and work on not only running and building our strength and endurance, but also discussing the values and components of our team that make us successful and dedicated,” Rooney said.
Andover’s goals for the season are not only to find success during the regular season and Interschols, but also to encourage a supportive team environment.
Assistant Coach Rachel Hyland wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “Our goals are always to do well and place at Interschols, and to create a hard-working, fun atmosphere for the girls on the team. We want to make sure that running adds enjoyment and balance to their busy lives.”
Rooney said, “My main goals are honestly for everyone to enjoy running and make friends they can stay connected with for years. As a large team on campus, we are looking to improve upon full inclusion and support, which can sometimes be tricky. Beyond that, any success that comes is just the icing on the cake, especially a three-peat at New England’s this November.”
Although Andover will enter the season without its top runners from the Class of 2016, several promising newcomers, along with strong returning runners, will make up for the loss of the graduated Seniors.
Rooney said, “[The Class of 2016] really helped shape our team in and out of races, so it’s definitely a blow, but we have so many wonderful returners and we have some awesome new runners that joined us in preseason, including Isabella Morzano, Samantha Valentine, and Alisa Cruegger-Cain. These girls have experience running, but it’ll be exciting to see who else makes a big impact this year.”
Andover’s first race of the season will be on September 24 at the Codfish Bowl in Franklin Park in Boston, Mass.
Editor’s Note: Susan Yun is a News Editor for The Phillipian.