In a year with unprecedented challenges introduced by Covid-19, the news of interscholastic athletic competition this spring was a special sign towards a more usual season for Andover teams. After only allowing Seniors on campus during Winter Term, Andover Track and Field is now able to operate practices and compete in meets at near full capacity. For Co-Captains Zach Moynihan ’21, Lillie Cooper ’21, Ayana Alemayehu ’21, and Myra Bhathena ’22, the changes between the winter and spring track seasons have provided for a unique end to an unusual year.
Zach Moynihan ’21
I learned to appreciate my individual races and events a lot more just because I have so few of them. It was easy in past seasons to take a race or a jump for granted, but now as we wind down and come to the end of the season and the end of my time at Andover, I think every single jump and every single start I have is imbued with this greater meaning that I hadn’t felt before. It’s also reminded me of how much I cherish those relationships that I have on the team. So sometimes it’s easy to get distracted during practices just talking and engaging with fellow teammates, but those times make for some of the best experiences as part of the team.
Lillie Cooper ’21
Highlights of the season have definitely been the two home meets that we’ve had. The first dual meet against [Deerfield Academy] was so fun because it was the first time in almost two years that we’ve competed outdoors. For a ton of the team, this was the first time they had competed for PATF ever. The girls absolutely killed it, we won 113-31. It was really amazing to see the continued strength and depth of the girls program, especially since we haven’t all trained together and competed in such a long time. The ninth and tenth grade meet this past weekend was also a highlight. Competition against [Phillips Exeter Academy] is always special, the energy of those meets are really unmatched. It was great to see the younger members of our team matched up against Exeter’s team, and I think it was a great preview for what is to come next week when we travel up to Exeter and compete with them again—it’s gonna be exciting for sure.
Ayana Alemayehu ’21
This spring track season is a lot closer to the normal track feel. From the community aspect, to us being able to host and travel to off campus track meets, to even the daily practices where we all work together to improve bit by bit as we work towards A/E, I think this season is a lot closer towards encapsulating the PATF feel we were so used to years before.
Myra Bhathena ’22
I have always gotten very nervous and stressed before meets before this season because I take track meets very seriously, and I put in so much work at practice that I really want to do well at meets like everyone does. But unfortunately I used to always feel enormous amounts of stress before my races. This season however, I was just simply thankful to be there on the track in my track uniform with my teammates around me. So I was less nervous and just more simply excited, and that’s a feeling that I’ve never really felt before, and I’m super grateful to finally feel that.