Victoria Kadiri ’20 crossed the finish line with a time of 51.7 seconds, securing an Andover in the Girls 4×100-Meter relay. In Andover’s first trimeet of the season, Taft finished first with a score of 75, Andover finished in second with 72 points, and Deerfield in last with 25.
Lillie Cooper ’21 said, “This was the first meet of our season where we competed against teams that would be in the final championship event, so it was really helpful for us to see certain runners in different events and how we competed against them. Both Taft and Deerfield are really strong teams, so seeing that we were able to keep up with them was really motivating and helpful.”
Even with some athletes missing because they took the ACT the same day as the meet, Andover proved to be strong competition, coming up just short of a win, according to Melanie Cheung ’20.
“The ACT’s were [on Saturday] and because we had the long weekend, not everyone was with us at Taft which I think affected our team a little bit. We had to coordinate a lot of things given the circumstance, but besides that, the meet went really smoothly,” said Cheung.
Tessa Conrardy ’20 gave a strong performance on Saturday, placing first in both the 400-Meter and 300-Meter Hurdles with a times of 62.8 seconds and 49.8 seconds respectively. She was also a part of the 4×400-Meter Relay team which placed second, along with Cooper, Kiera Suh ’22, Isabel Torio ’21.
“I would say that Tessa Conrardy was our M.V.P. for the whole meet. She placed first in the 300-Meter hurdles, 400-Meter [Dash], and also stepped in for our 4×400 team which was really admirable on her part,” said Niya Harris ’21.
Despite the team’s strong performance, Taft’s unfamiliar setup proved to be a struggle at first, according to Suh and Cheung.
While Andover uses an automated timing setup that employs cameras and a specialized computer program to estimate times, Taft uses as comparatively less accurate system of hand timing, where officials manually time and score races.
Suh said, “Hand timing was pretty unusual because when we finished each race [an event official] would hand us a popsicle stick. Also, it isn’t precise enough for short events, so our coach put a lot of us in an event higher than we would usually compete in. It was a little bit of an adjustment at first, but over time, we were able to understand the system at Taft better and continue to perform to the best of our ability.”
Taft also had only one long and triple jumping pit, as opposed to Andover’s two jumping pits, meaning that only one jumping event could take place at a time.
Cheung added, “With it being just one [Long Jump and Triple Jump] pit, the events went by at a much slower rate than usual. I found that having the events dragged out until the very end of the meet was really hard because I think a lot of us are not used to competing in the second half of a meet in general. It was a lot of making sure to stay warm, constantly eating, and being ready and energized for when we had to go out there and perform.”
Andover will return to Deerfield this Saturday to compete in the Annual Hunt Relays, a 15-school interscholastic meet.
Editor’s Note: Tessa Conrardy ’20 is the President of The Phillipian.