Michael Turner ’20 crossed the finish line, achieving a time of 4:59.17 for the Mile-Run and earning five points for Andover Boys Indoor Track & Field. Turner’s and others’ success led Andover to a second place finish in a three-way meet against Governor’s and North Reading High School on Wednesday.
Andover delivered a solid turnout on Wednesday, and although it did not come out on top, the team felt proud of its performance, according to Ayana Alemayehu ’21.
Alemayehu said, “I think Andover as a team did really well. There was one runner for the other team that was amazing and in all the events he did, he came out on top. So that was the one we had to look out for. Outside of that, as a team, we came out there and we produced.”
Leading up to the meet, Andover worked hard in practice to get back on its feet after Winter Break, according to Abhi Tadikonda ’20.
Tadkinoda wrote, “In the past few practices the team has been working mainly to get back into the track mindset. After a long winter break and not even a full week of practice it was important to maximize time on the track for this meet. “
This was the first time Andover has faced North Reading, and the team proved to be tough competitors, according to Alemayehu and Timmer Verhaegh PG’19.
“North Reading really surprised us. We haven’t played them before in my memory, but they gave us a run for our money,” said Alemayehu.
Verhaegh added, “We had seen Governor’s Academy before break so we knew a little what to expect. But knowing North Reading would be at this meet, I expected a lot of great athletes from a school their size.”
The 4×400-Relay was especially strong, according to Alemayehu.
Alemayehu said, “In the 4×400-Relay, we won by a giant margin. Alex Fleury gave us a great head start. Pretty much anything Alex Fleury did, we did really well in.”
Fleury was followed by Alexander Meyer, Kareem Hill and Alemayehu, who were able to maintain a sizable lead throughout the rest of the race, finishing with a time of 3:52.36, a solid 22.02 seconds before North Reading.
Fleury said, “The four of us hadn’t run a 4x together before, and, being early in the season, we are still getting adjusted and used to the rhythm of meets and each event. I think it was a great race, and everyone ran a great lap. We never had any competition to push us, so we all were racing the clock, and we did a great job.”
Though it was only the team’s second meet of the season, Verhaegh believes that Andover has already demonstrated enormous improvement, both in the individual and team aspects of the sport.
Verhaegh said, “I have already seen tremendous growth in individuals, but more importantly in the team. I am with the throwers for a large portion of my time, and I have seen veterans and newcomers alike really focus and improve. The team as a whole is already settling in and becoming a more bonded group.”
According to Alemayehu, the team hopes to get back into the rhythm it was in before Winter Break.
Alemayehu said, “Since everybody came back from break, everybody’s not used to track yet and what it takes to reach your full potential, so we’re just trying to get back to our original shape we did in the first two weeks in the beginning of the term and also last year last season.”
Next Wednesday, Andover will host Andover High School and Wilbraham & Monson in another tri-meet.