Entering the race with a 4-1 record, Girls Cross Country will travel to Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) this Saturday for the Nepsta Division I Championships. The team is hoping to win the championship meet, also known as Interschols, for the first time since 2015.
Although Andover has already faced many of the teams that will be at Interschols during the regular season, Andover anticipates a challenging and competitive meet, according to Marguerite Montagner ’21 and Head Coach Rebecca Hesson.
“The competition at Interschols will definitely be hard, but I think it’s a challenge we’re ready for. There are some great teams out there but I think we are also prepared to bring our best,” wrote Montagner in an email to The Phillipian.
Hession said, “The Nepsta championship meet is a highlight of the season. It’s one of the few big meets of the season and competition is always strong at both the varsity and JV levels.”
Prior to the race, the team is mainly focusing on mental preparation and is confident that its training throughout the season will allow it to be successful in its final race, according to Carolina Weatherall ’21and Hession.
In an email to The Phillipian, Weatherall wrote, “As it is the last week before the championships, we have already done the bulk of our training. We have worked hard all season to build a strong foundation for success—anything we do this week is mainly staying in shape and getting in the headspace to compete on Saturday. Right now, we are tapering a bit, but still following the usual structure of our daily workouts. ”
Hession said, “The focus of championship week is staying healthy and having confidence in the quality work that has already been done. The team is ready.”
Each runner is excited for the meet and the energy on the team is high, according to Captain Posie Millett ’20.
Millett said, “The team has gotten so close over the past eight weeks and is only growing closer. I can feel a shared excitement and anticipation on the team this week, which is especially helpful when thinking about conserving our energy for Saturday. The benefit of tapering this week in terms of our workouts is so that energy and that readiness to go out on NMH’s course and give it all that you’ve got is really built up throughout the week.”
Andover has shown improvement all season long and expects a strong finish, according to Weatherall.
Weatherall wrote, “Our team is very strong, our packs have grown increasingly powerful throughout the season. Statistics right now indicate that we have a good chance of coming out in the top three, so hopefully we can push for that first. Regardless of our score, it is…amazingly invigorating just to go out there and compete.”