Sports

BXC Places Five Runners in Top 20 at NMH

O..TUNG/The Phillipian

Two-year Captain Alex Fleury ’20 placed fifth in the varsity race with a time of 17:03 on Saturday.


When Chris Ratcliffe PG’20 finished the race with a time of 16:32, he achieved the fastest time ever recorded for an Andover runner on the 3.1 mile long Northfield Mount Hermon course. This race on Saturday was the team’s second meet of the season, and Ratcliffe finished third overall.

Andover placed third in a contentious varsity race with a cumulative score of 61 points, falling just six points behind the first place team’s score.

According to Coach Patrick Rielly and Anthony Minickiello ’20, the team had spent the past two weeks getting ready for the challenging and hilly course.

“The team entered the race after two weeks of strong training following our last meet, so the runners were excited to tackle NMH’s difficult course,” Rielly wrote in an email to The Phillipian.

“What I thought were the best parts of the race were when the team wasted no time starting out fast and immediately placing itself into a favorable position, and that unlike the meet prior, the team was in a lot better shape to take on the hills and uneven terrain,” Minickiello wrote in an email to The Phillipian.

Establishing race-day routines was an important factor for this meet, especially since many of Andover’s runners were competing for the first time this season, according to Harrison Wilson ’20.

“I think we stuck to our habits and kept our race plan in mind during the day. I think across the board people kept to hydrations schedules and anticipated the weather pretty well. Everyone I think toed the line ready to go, well-fueled, well-hydrated mentally prepared for the race,” said Wilson.

One of Andover’s primary goals heading into the race was for the team to get acquainted with the course, as the team will return to it later in the season for the New England Championship race, according to Coach Riley.

“NMH will host the New England championship race in November, so we’re looking to break their course down and practice its rhythms in the next several weeks in order to prepare to run our best when it matters most,” said Coach Rielly.

The runners will try to incorporate skills that were noticed to be lacking in the race into their practices for the next few weeks, according to Minickiello.

“I think our team would do well to work on staying in packs and running together more often in workouts. That will definitely be coming up in training, but that was something that I noticed we didn’t have during the race at NMH. Purposefully running with your teammates seems to contradict the common wisdom which says to run your own race, but sticking together will help our teammates push each other,” said Minickiello.

The team will face off against Choate away on October 5.

EOCXLII

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Harrison Wilson ’20

How did the race go this weekend?

The race was a net positive, we go to see a lot of new runners take the line. Our PG ran his first race with the Andover Singlet which is very exciting. There was a large contingent in the boy’s JV race. In general, we got to see a lot of the early season training yields for a lot of runners and we got to also race our interschool championship course for the end of the season.

What did you guys do well?

I think we stuck to our habits and kept our race plan in mind during the day. I think across the board people kept to hydrations schedules and anticipated the weather pretty well. Everyone I think toed the line ready to go, well-fueled, well-hydrated mentally prepared for the race.

Is there anything you are looking to improve upon as a team for the upcoming races?

As a team, we can work together more. On a course that is as challenging as NMH, it’s important to stick together and use each other during the sections that m8ght be potentially more isolating there is a long loop that goes into the woods at NMH and using your teammates is especially important in that part.

Were there any very memorable moments or parts of the race for you?

One of the most memorable moments was seeing our former coaches Rachel Highland and Sean Highland waiting just around the turn to the finish line Coach Highland shouted a really memorable piece of advice to me to finish out my race, and even though they are no longer Coaches they continue to inspire me.

Ok well thank you so much for your time.

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Anthony Minickiello – email

1. By and large, the team felt great going into the race. We arrived at NMH with plenty of time to warm up and prepare to set us up for a fabulous performance. We knew that NMH was a grind because it was a hilly course, but the meet prior at the Bobcat Invitational seemed a lot worse.

2. What I thought were the best parts of the race were when the team wasted no time starting out fast and immediately placing itself into a favorable position, and that unlike the meet prior, the team was in a lot better shape to take on the hills and uneven terrain.

3. I think our team would do well to work on staying in packs and running together more often in workouts. That will definitely be coming up in training, but that was something that I noticed we didn’t have during the race at NMH. Purposefully running with your teammates seems to contradict the common wisdom which says to run your own race, but sticking together will help our teammates push each other.

4. The most memorable part of the meet for me was watching the first girls’ field climb the first hills of the course. Those hills separated the field into a long, almost single file line of runners. I was warming up when I saw the line from afar, which was an amazing sight.

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Coach Patrick Rielly – Email

1. The team entered the race after two weeks of strong training following our last meet, so the runners were excited to tackle NMH’s difficult course.

2. A lot of things went well during the race. The runners, many of whom were racing for the first time this season, competed brilliantly and showed a lot of strength.

3. NMH will host the New England championship race in November, so we’re looking to break their course down and practice its rhythms in the next several weeks in order to prepare to run our best when it matters most.

4. There were many great performances, but a particularly noteworthy performance was Chris Ratcliffe’s 16:32, which is the fastest time any Andover runner has run at NMH.