With four class records and one school record set this last weekend, Andover Girls Track & Field competed in a ninth and tenth grade meet against Phillips Exeter Academy. Despite these records set, Andover fell to Exeter with a score of 55-66, standing at a team record of 1-1.
Although adapting to this competition season has been difficult for the team, Andover has been putting its best foot forwards by creating a vibrant team environment with persevering mindsets, according to Langan Garrett ’24 and Caroline Empey ’22.
“I think positivity is pretty important because yesterday was [Andover/Exeter] Day so it felt like real competition, closer to what it would have been in a more normal year….I tried to put [the meet] into perspective, trying to be positive and optimistic and not too hard on myself is something that is important,” said Garrett.
Empey continued, “I try to stay positive, something our coach has told us a lot is to try and stay consistent, especially in the middle laps because that is where it can get hard, so stay focussed and stay with the girl ahead of you.”
According to Charlotte Whitehurst ’22 who set an Upper record in the 1,500 Meter, she describes her training and mentality towards the race.
“The race was really fun because it was great to step up on the line against Exeter. We have not had the opportunity to compete against another team in a while and the Exeter meets are always extra high energy so going into the meet the team was really focussed on wrecking the Ex… It is an Upper record and it is just out of all the Uppers that ran and it was really fun to run against all the kids in Andover and Exeter, it was a great day with the weather and the meet energy was really high,” said Whitehurst.
As there are fewer track meets this season due to the pandemic, many of the younger athletes are looking up to the captains and others on the team to make the most out of the season and ensure that they are getting the most out of the experience as possible.
“I think the optimism and the energy from the captains is really helpful. Especially as a ninth grader, it is really nice to have those people that are more experienced who know what they are doing and kind of help because they understand but it is optimistic and positive nevertheless… I would say probably just trying to make the most of my last meet as a [Junior is important to me] because I will never have another chance to do that. So just trying to have the most fun which I think translates into putting in your most effort,” said Garrett.
Looking towards the end of the season, Andover is looking forward to competing against Exeter again, according to Whitehurst. She highlights how the team hopes to channel all the effort put into throughout the entire season for the final meet of the year.
“The track team has worked really hard through the spring and we were all really prepared to race, we have practiced with time trials and we know that we can step up to the line and race really hard against Exeter so as a team, all of the hard work that we put in is paying off and we won the meet which was really exciting,” said Whitehurst.
Andover will travel to Exeter this Saturday.