In the first race of Andover Girls Track & Field’s New England Prep Division 1 Championship, Victoria Kadiri ’20 trailed by over ten meters in the final leg of the 4×100-Meter Relay. Quickly closing the gap, Kadiri managed to pull ahead of St. Paul’s at the last moment, winning the race by 0.05 seconds with a time of 50.16.
This victory propelled track to its fourth straight first place title at Interschols. The team secured 111 points, beating out second place Phillips Exeter Academy by 13 points. According to Serena Liu ’19 and Lillie Cooper ’21, the first race was pivotal in motivating and energizing the team towards defending its title.
Liu said, “Victoria Kadiri was our anchor line. We were coming in behind, when the tong was handed off to her and she really showed a lot of grit and determination and pulled out a win for us.”
Cooper said, “We won the 4×400-Meter Relay even though we were seeded second and that definitely set the tone for the rest of the meet. It was a really exciting moment, everybody was really pumped, and it got some more points on the board and allowed us to be more confident going into the rest of the events.”
Going into Interschols, the team was uncertain of how it would do after losing many Seniors from last year; however, the team rallied together, and the lowerclassmen stepped up to the task, allowing Andover to place in 12 out of 17 events, according to Cooper and Liu.
“We lost a lot of Seniors [last year], so we didn’t quite know going into the season how we would do this year, but we knew we had to go in and run [our] races well, throw well, jump well. It wasn’t as comfortable as last year, but everybody was very motivated and had high energy going in so that we would ultimately be successful,” Cooper said.
Liu said, “The one thing that really sets us apart is how young we are. We had a lot of [Juniors] who competed for us at Interschols this year, which is really impressive because it shows how strong our program is and how strong the lowerclassmen are… In previous years, we’ve had a lot of Senior presence in terms of points scored and performance wise, but this year, a lot of lowerclassmen have stepped up into these roles that usually Seniors have had.”
According to Liu, the strong bond formed throughout the season enabled Andover to be successful in the meet and distance themselves from the rest of the field as the strongest competitor.
“Wherever you were, if somebody was running in an event, or jumping or competing, there was always a group of teammates there cheering them on around the track…That’s what really set us apart, the way we supported each other and showed up for each other on Saturday.”
According to Liu, hoisting up the first-place plaque for her fourth year in a row was a symbol of the team’s commitment to hard work.
“That was an awesome moment to see all the hard work we put into the entire season and also something we’ve been working towards for a while. I think that really encompasses all the great things that happened on Saturday,” said Liu.
Andover will face Exeter this Saturday for its final meet of the 2019 season.