Andover Girls Cross Country suffered its first loss of the season against Deerfield in an away meet on Sunday with a score of 32-25. Despite the team’s preparations, the rainy conditions and Deerfield’s strong team ended Andover’s perfect season.
Michaela Jones ’18 placed second overall with a time of 18:46 minutes, followed by Molly MacQueen ’21, who placed third with a time of 19:03 minutes. Alisa Crueger-Cain ’20 finished in 19:37 minutes to place sixth, Lindsay Rosenberg ’19 finished in 21:08 minutes to place tenth, Eva Chilson ’18 finished in 21:11 to place eleventh, Posie Millett ’20 finished in 21:16 to place twelfth, and Brooke Sanders ’19 finished in 21:20 minutes to place thirteenth.
Leading up to the race, Andover had strenuous workouts, which included running on wet grass in the rain, according to Jessica Wang ’18. These practices not only helped the team’s performance at the race, but also at the New England Prep School Track Association (Nepsta) Cross Country Championships on Saturday, November 11.
Wang said, “As a team, we had practiced running in wet conditions on Siberia. This definitely helped all of us during the race. We had a really strong pack at the end of the race, and they helped my finish. We look to strengthen this pack for Interschols.”
Throughout the season, Assistant Coach Rachel Hyland has made sure Andover’s runners were prepared for bad conditions. She encouraged the runners to remain tenacious instead of focusing on times.
Coach Hyland said, “We made sure the girls were ready for the conditions [on Sunday]. Luckily, it rained a bit during practice [last] week, so we also had the chance to practice running fast on wet, soppy grass. We did not worry too much about the times today, but we encouraged the girls to focus during the race and push hard during the final mile.”
Captain Grace Rademacher ’18 inspired every runner to have a positive mentality heading into the race, despite the poor conditions that ultimately affected the team’s times.
Rademacher said, “I focused on the positives at Deerfield in order to lift team spirits. I tried to make jokes as much as possible and keep things light. On the line, I encouraged everyone on the team to take a risk, be courageous, and show Deerfield our strength during the race.”
Andover will look to bounce back when it faces off against Exeter at home on Saturday for its last race of the regular season.