Continuing her streak of dominant performances, Post-Graduate (PG) Samantha Valentine ’17 dashed her way to a first place finish against Choate, crossing the finish line with a time of 18:45. Andover continued its racing prowess as its runners secured both second and third places individually as well. The strong racers of Andover Girls Cross Country ultimately beat Choate 19-46.
Andover came out with several impressive finishes that illustrated the depth of its team. Michaela Jones ’18 continued her streak of second-place-finished with a time of 19:02. Another top runner, Marina Hunt ’17, rejoined the team in her first race back from a hip injury to finish third with a time of 21:03.
Describing her teammates’ performances, Grace Rademacher ’18, who finished in ninth place, said, “We are all so happy to see Marina healthy; she’s such a huge [part] of the team-dynamic.”
Additionally, newcomer Alisa Cruger-Cain ’20 continued to prove herself as an integral part of the team with a sixth place finish of 21:47. Her competitive spirit was clearly evident to her teammates.
“It’s wonderful having Alisa come in as a [Junior] and be so ready to join the team. She ran an incredible race, and I know she looks forward to the rest of the season, and how she can continue to contribute to the success of the team,” said Rademacher.
Andover’s success on the course was especially impressive given the difficulty of the steep terrain.
In an email to The Phillipian, Valentine wrote, “The course had a decently long hill which I think a lot of us may have underestimated in regards to its ability to wear us out.”
Cruger-Cain added, “I think Girls [Cross Country] definitely showed that we can [do well against] the competition no matter the difficulty of the terrain.”
Andover continues to work hard in practice and improve as individuals.
Rademacher said, “We just had a fun time racing in our little packs. One of our biggest strategies as a team this week was to focus on pack-running, and we definitely did this well by building off each other’s strengths. We are excited for later races where we can demonstrate all the strength we’ve been building over the season.”
Describing the benefits of the team’s strategy, Captain Morgan Rooney ’17 said, “I’m really proud of not only the way we’ve improved in our athletic ability, but also in how much the bond between our team has grown and developed.”
After its success against Choate, Andover has high hopes for the rest of the season.
Head Coach Rebecca Hession wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “The team’s strong performance against Choate was a great benchmark as we head toward the midpoint of the season.”
Riding a three-meet win streak, Andover looks for another win again against St. Paul’s this Saturday.