Andover Girls Cross Country raced to a perfect record of 3-0 this season in dual meets against Choate, St. Paul’s, and Northfield Mount Hermon. Phillips Exeter Academy Girls Cross Country has the same record, and both teams will meet this weekend for Andover/Exeter weekend. Andover looks to seek revenge after its 30-25 loss during last year’s A/E race.
The team is looking to build upon its pack running skills this week to help it win against Exeter, according to Captain Posie Millett ’20.
“Because of the way that cross country scores, it’s so important to have the closeness of that front pack to offset the other’s teams top seven. I think that working on our pack running is something that has been emphasized this season, especially because we really don’t know what’s going to happen at the front of the field, so making sure we’re all close together when we finish the race has allowed us to stay ahead of our opponents,” said Millett.
According to Natasha Muromcew ’22 and Millett, Andover’s coaches have been preparing the team for this upcoming race by planning specific and intentional workouts, which in turn provides motivation for the team.
Muromcew said, “More than telling us what to do when we train, they tell us why it’s important, and the right mentality we should have, and everything we should be thinking about. I feel like they really like to go into detail about what we’re doing and why, and I think that really helps us get in the right mental state for all of our training.”
“I think that [Head Coach Becky] Hession has been really intentional in planning our workouts…Because she’s been coaching for so long, she’s really familiar with each of the different courses that we go to, so we’ve been able to have really specialized training for each individual meet,” added Millett.
Although the team has had a perfect record in dual meets, its upcoming A/E race is shaping up to be the most competitive matchup of the season, according to Muromcew.
“This is the first race that’s up in the air in terms of who’s going to win, and although we know we have a chance, it’s not decided yet, and that’s a good thing that it’s not decided yet… we really want to work on winning and giving it our all because this is our most competitive race yet,” said Muromcew.
According to Coach Hession, the race against Exeter will be a great way to prepare the team for its interscholastic race, Interschols, the following week.
“We’re continuing to build, so it’s just another chance to work on strengthening our pack as a team. We love the opportunity to compete against Exeter the week before Interschols because both Andover and Exeter traditionally have really strong teams within the league as a whole, so to have that dual meet as a mini dress rehearsal for the type of competition we’ll see at Interschols is always really exciting,” said Hession.
Andover will battle it out against Exeter at home this Saturday.