Besting her times from this season’s previous races, Natasha Muromcew ’22 snagged second place with a time of 20:46.8, helping Andover Girls Cross Country win 21-36 in its first dual meet of the season against Choate this past Saturday.
Behind Muromcew were teammates Izzy Alverez ’23, Tiffany Tang ’22, and Tessa Conrardy ’20 in third, fourth, and fifth place, respectively. In total, Andover runners made up six of the top ten places of the meet.
Although the meet was originally scheduled as a home race, it was moved to Choate due to the threat of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in Andover.
Ava Sullivan ’23 said, “This was supposed to be a home race, [and] it kinda stunk that it got pushed away, but we’re definitely gonna wanna be strong for our next home race, so we’ll keep working hard.”
Although the change was unexpected, the similar terrain of the Choate course and Andover’s home course allowed the team to feel more comfortable while racing, according to Claire de Saint Phalle ’21.
De Saint Phalle said, “I think [Choate’s course is] about the same [as Andover’s course]: we both have a pretty flat first mile, and then hilly second mile – I think the only difference is their third mile is pretty much all down hill where ours is pretty flat again, so that was nice to finish on the downhill.”
The team focused on preserving its energy in the beginning of the race in order to finish strong, according to Captain Posie Millett ’20.
Millett said, “I think one thing that [Head Coach Rebecca Hession] tried to emphasize was being more conservative on the first mile of this race, because it was a flatter first mile, and really bringing it on in the second and third miles. I think that knowing that we can preserve that energy to really go all-out on the last mile of the race is going to be really important when it comes to Interschols because at Northfield Mount Hermon’s course [where Interschols are held] that last mile is really crucial in the race and you can really end up passing a lot of people.”
Throughout the race, Andover runners were able to motivate and push each other to pass its competitors, according to Millett.
Millett continued, “I think we did really well, I think that everyone whether they were with a Choate runner, an Andover runner challenged each other and pushed each other, and I saw a lot of teamwork on the course where our runners would help one another to pass Choate.”
The team will work on its speed and improving its pack times in preparation for a flatter St. Paul’s course, according to de Saint Phalle.
Andover will face St. Paul’s this Saturday in its second dual meet of the season.
Editor’s Note: Tessa Conrardy is the President of The Phillipian.