PG FEATURE: Samantha Valentine ’17

Crossing the tape to finish first out of 204 runners in the Codfish 5k, Post-Graduate (PG) Samantha Valentine ’17 has already set the bar high this season. Valentine brings seven years of experience from Middleton, Wis., to Andovers Girls Cross Country.

Valentine said, “What I love about running is how natural it is, like it wasn’t something that was necessarily invented or that someone came up with, it’s just ingrained in our nature.”

After earning two consecutive championships, Andover is determined to maintain its dominance of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (Nepsac) league. Valentine’s speed and team-based goals will help the team achieve this aspiration.

Valentine said, “What I want most out of this season is just in general to get stronger and gain more racing experience in different fields of competition.”

Although Valentine is a newcomer to the school and the team, her coaches and her teammates hope to build a cohesive team dynamic.

Head Coach Rebecca Hession said, “Samantha brings her many years of considerable experience in both national and local running, and the knowledge of what being on a team is like. Like all new students, one of Samantha’s biggest challenges has been adapting to a completely new community than the one she has been in for many years.”

Coming off her recent first-place finish at the Codfish bowl, Valentine hopes to once again lead Andover to success at this Saturday’s Northfield Mount Hermon Invitational meet.