Earning its first perfect score of the season, Andover Boys Cross Country swept the top five places in their race against Choate on Saturday and claimed a 15-50 victory.
Captain Alex Fleury ’20, Chris Ratcliffe PG’20, Glen Cahilly ’23, Michael Turner ’20, and Ellerman Mateo ’21 were the members of the team who placed first through fifth, respectively.
Fleury was proud of his team’s ability to run closely together in the first dual meet of the year.
“I think that [there were] definitely [many] strong performances throughout the entire meet, but I think that a particular moment that stood out was when Chris [Ratcliffe PG’20 and I finished] and turned around and saw three or four more Andover runners cross the finish line thirty seconds after us. It was really incredible to see them working together throughout the whole race and to see the team push each other,” said Fleury.
According to Issac Heitmann ’22, many runners achieved personal bests, contributing to perfect scores in both the Varsity and JV races.
“Almost a quarter of our team played a big role in our win. So many people got huge personal records, like my friend Samson [Zhang ’20] who brought his time down by a solid 50 seconds on Saturday. Aside from the fact that both JV and Varsity got perfect scores, I think it [is] just the sheer amount of progress each one of us made that made the race so memorable,” wrote Heitmann in an email to The Phillipian.
Despite the team’s win, the course presented Andover’s runners with some difficulties, according to Heitmann.
“The most challenging part of Saturday’s meet, for me at least, was just keeping my head straight during the actual race. On the Choate course, there is a hill that’s both decently long and quite steep, especially in the beginning, which is arguably the steepest part of the course. However, I was able to recall from our warm up jog of the course that the hill evened out towards the top, which kept me going,” wrote Heitmann.
Head Coach Patrick Rielly was pleased with his team’s ability to perform at a high level, despite the difficult course, the long ride to Choate, and the fact that some students had taken standardized testing earlier that day.
“I was impressed with the way the runners worked together [and competed hard] on a day with SATs in the morning and a long bus ride in the afternoon,” Rielly wrote in an email to The Phillipian.
According to both Fleury and Rielly, the team has positioned itself well for the rest of the season.
Fleury said, “[We] are a strong team right now and…We have a lot to be confident in. We know that Phillips Exeter Academy [and Loomis Chaffee] are good, but I think that we should be confident that we have the strength and the numbers to give them a run for their money at Interschols.”
“We’re in a great place midway through the season. I think we still have room to develop, and I’m confident that our upcoming races will help us get better,” wrote Rielly.
The team will look to build on this performance when it travels to St. Paul’s this Saturday.
Editor’s Note: Samson Zhang is the Executive Digital Editor of The Phillipian.