Nick Koobation ’22, Daniel Bae ’23, and Kiefer Ebanks ’23 secured the top three spots in the boys 200-Meter Dash for Boys Track & Field in the close loss to Exeter. Andover hosted Exeter in a ninth and tenth grade meet this past Saturday, losing with a final score of 63-75.
According to Cato Legaspi ’22, the rivalry made for an energetic atmosphere and excited the team. He noted that the Blue Key Heads were leading cheers along with spectators watching from the hill above Smoyer Field.
“It was great. You could tell that everyone was excited even though it was the underclassmen meet, everyone was excited to go up against Exeter. Everyone gets hyped up for that rivalry. It was nice because some Blue Key Heads came out and we had some fans up on the hill. We were working up towards this all week in practice so we were pretty excited,” said Legaspi.
According to Bae, the energy pushed the team to perform better, specifically in the sprint events. Despite suffering a defeat, Bae believes there was no clear weakness and the team can build off of the loss.
“The atmosphere was exciting and collaborative. We performed well in a lot of the sprint events. I wouldn’t say we had any weakness, but I think Exeter had a really strong distance team,” said Bae.
Legaspi described how the upperclassmen utilized their experience to support the younger athletes on the team.
“Our captains, Uppers, and Seniors were able to teach underclassmen techniques and how to stay calm going into the races because some of the guys were competing in their first meet. Giving them little points before they went out was great,” said Legaspi.
According to Nigel Savage ’23, there were numerous injuries that affected Andover during the meet. He mentioned the atmosphere during the final relay where both teams lined the sides of the track to cheer for their teammates. Savage noted how Andover will look to build off of the loss and capitalize on Exeter’s weaknesses next weekend when both teams face off again.
“Unfortunately we also had a bunch of injuries during the meet. The biggest highlight for me was the [4×100-Meter Relay] because everyone gathers around the track and watches due to it being the last race. What we are looking forward to next week is to be even more energized and ready to go at them since we have a better understanding of who they are,” said Savage.
Many members of the team achieved many individual personal bests after training consistently at specific events every practice, according to Legaspi.
“Some highlights were that we had the top three spots in the [200-Meter Dash.] A bunch of guys got their personal bests. A bunch of people jumped and threw further than any of their previous meets or in practice. I have noticed a lot of guys improving. I mainly work with the sprinters and have noticed Kiefer, Alex Ewald [’24], and Daniel get faster. All of the younger guys have gotten faster and we have seen them getting more into a rhythm because we have been practicing everyday. Their form is getting better. They run the races smarter. They don’t go all out in the beginning and get burnt out at the end. They know how to run smarter races,” said Legaspi.
Legaspi described the team goal which is to put in full effort throughout the week leading up to the final meet of the season. Recovering from a hamstring injury, Legaspi believes the team needs to make slight individual adjustments in order to gain a victory on Saturday.
“We just have one week left. My personal goal is to rehab my leg and work on my form for all of the throws. I think everyone needs to work out the kinks and get rid of the little mistakes. We need to keep up our conditioning and we just have one week left, so we have to leave it all out there,” said Legaspi.
Andover Boys Track & Field will look to defeat Exeter away this Saturday.