Chants of “Go Andover!” and “Go Giselle!” propelled Giselle Jones-Mollod ’22 to the finish line as Andover Girls Cross Country competed in its second meet of the season in the Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) Invitational. With Charlotte Whitehurst ’22 placing second overall and Tiffany Tang ’22 placing third overall, Andover placed second to Loomis Chaffee 31-35.
According to Izzy Alvarez ’23, the long bus ride to western Massachusetts, the scenic course and the autumn-themed post-race prizes made the meet a unique and memorable one.
“[I would describe the meet as] fun… NMH is [famous for its long drives as] the drive there is an hour and a half, so there’s a lot of buildup getting there. And once you finally get there, it’s a beautiful campus in western Mass in the mountains; the course is super hilly and challenging, and the races at NMH that I’ve been to all give out pumpkins, pies, or maple syrup as prizes, which goes along with the autumn theme,” said Alvarez.
During the bus ride, the team stayed lively and took advantage of the bonding opportunity, according to Jones-Mollod.
Jones-Mollod said, “We had people singing together, and just enjoying being with each other, getting excited together.”
Alvarez says the team has also been bonding through psychs to spread positive energy throughout the team.
“For meets, we have a pre-race ritual of writing each other psychs, which is basically where you get assigned a teammate, and you write them a letter, an anonymous letter, encouraging them and hyping them up for the race, and we call those secret psychs. So that’s a race thing we do throughout our entire team,” said Alvarez.
According to Alvarez, after training as a group for more than a month, the team has started to develop an intimate connection.
Alvarez said, “A lot of us have been training together since late August, so we have been training for a very long time up until this moment, and over the course, we have grown so much together as people and as runners and it’s been so rewarding to see our work pay off and get to know each other better and grow into a tighter-knit community.”
Alvarez says she is most proud of the fact that every runner was able to put their all into the race despite heavy workloads and fatigue in the week leading up to the meet.
“This previous week was very difficult for a lot of runners, just because we were all very busy, we had a lot of work that we had to do, a lot of us were not feeling the greatest to train as much as we’re used to. Regardless of these challenges, we were still able to go out and race and leave it all on the course, and race races that we were proud to have finished,” said Alvarez.
Andover will host its first meet on October 9 against Choate.