Andover Girls Cross Country returned from Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) on Saturday and returned with a 20-40 final score and its third dual-meet win of the season.
According to Captain Rhea Chandran ’19 and Natasha Muromcew ’22, the team’s success can be attributed both to familiarity with the course and to thorough preparation in the form of hill running.
“We were definitely trying to focus on pack running, and opting into the race our training has been pretty rigorous. We ran at NMH a few weeks back. I think that a combination of these two things helped us out,” said Chandran.
Muromcew said, “The team’s success can be attributed to many things. Our first [being] that we train a lot on the big hills in the [Cochran Bird] Sanctuary, so we are prepared to run when we get to NMH. Hill training can do a lot for you as a runner because it makes you strong. Hill running is a typical weakness for a runner, so being strong at that skill makes you a better runner overall.”
On the day of the race, the team was full of nervous energy that it was able to translate into positivity, according to Valerie Tang ’20.
Tang said, “Everyone was so nervous because we knew that the cross country course at NMH is notorious for being tough and hilly. But we were excited and encouraged each other while warming up with upbeat music. There was a lot of team energy.”
Despite the difficult nature of the course, the team was able to finish on top due to its support of one another, according to Tang and Muromcew.
Tang said, “The course was really demanding and required a lot of focus and determination. There was a lot of pack running going on, and I could see everyone doing their best to finish the race. Even when we were really tired, we’d cheer our teammates on when we saw them. The cheering at the finish line really kept everyone going.”
Muromcew added, “As a team, the main thing we try to focus on is ‘opting-in’ and really putting our heads into the race. When we opt in during a race, our mindset is focused on running — we try not to focus on our school work or stress subjects and keep a fast head while running.”
Moving forward, the team hopes to improve its finishes, according to Muromcew
Muromcew said, “Your race is never over until you cross the finish line, meaning you always give your best until you’re done. When racing, it’s important to ‘finish on empty’ and make sure you run as fast as possible when you finish and cross the line with no energy left.”
Andover will race Deerfield at home this Sunday.