At the final turn on the Great Lawn, Captain Alex Fleury ’20 overtook the top Deerfield runner to win the meet with a time of 16:28, three seconds faster than Deerfield’s first finisher.
“We were running together from the start. I wasn’t sure how he had progressed throughout last season, because I knew last season he actually beat me at the interscholastic race,” said Fleury.
Fleury continued, “We both went out [at] very similar paces, and we would take turns in the middle of the race taking the lead, one person would take the lead, the other person would let the other person take the lead. Obviously we were not working together, but we already knew that throughout the race we’re running similar times, we’re running similar paces, it’s going to be down to the wire, and it was that way up until the second to last left turn, and then right before the final turn onto the straightaway, I just kind of out-kicked him at the end and got him there by three seconds.”
Andover went on to win the meet 19-38. According to Fleury, Andover’s second through fifth runners finished ahead of Deerfields second to secure crucial spots.
Fleury continued, “I was able to see our two through five finish. Jacob Buehler [’19] was up there, he did a fantastic job. He was running most of the race by himself, he PRed by a few seconds, he’s almost sub-17, which is huge. I know that’s a big goal of his, and he’s going to get it. We also didn’t have Sam Capobianco [’21] and Michael Turner [’20], who are very good runners, they also contribute very well to the varsity team, which means that we’re stronger than what showed on Sunday.”
Going into Sunday’s meet Andover focused on improving communication within small groups of runners, according to Riley Gillis ’19.
Gillis said, “We were definitely going into it differently than we had with [Northfield Mount Hermon], and we performed really well with Deerfield. It was nice to have a race on our home course. I’d say packs really helped especially at two through five on varsity, and we had a really strong JV as well. I’m usually in a pack at the front of the JV with Doug Yang [’20] and Riku Tanaka [’20], and that’s really helpful as well. We do our track workouts with those packs as well, so it helps strengthen the communication.”
The team is preparing to race rival Phillips Exeter Academy on Saturday. Though Interschols is the pinnacle of the season, the team is excited for its final dual meet, according to Ellerman Matteo ’21 and Fleury.
Matteo wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “I am totally looking forward to Exeter as they have a flat course where I can use that track speed of mine. Being from Florida, I am not used to hills and it is taking some time adapting to the landscape here. I don’t know the magnitude of the rivalry between Andover and Exeter but I am sure going to do my best to beat as [many] Exeter runners as I can.”
Fleury said, “Andover/Exeter is always exciting. It’s a flat course, hopefully we can drop some nice times on there and at the same time get the win. Interschols is the only race that matters during the season, all the intermediate races are good to see where we’re at in comparison to the other teams, but we’re definitely going to see because Exeter is a big competitor, so we’re going to see how they perform, we’re going to perform our best, and we’re just going to use that as motivation going into Interschols.”