Tam Gavenas ’25 sped down the course in a cutthroat race with a Deerfield runner on Deerfield’s home course. Gavenas ultimately finished second just behind the opposing runner, unable to catch up in the home stretch after lending a hand to the other runner, who had taken a fall. Andover settled for a 33-25 defeat against Deerfield, bringing its dual meet record to 1-3.
The race conditions proved to be a challenge for the runners that day, according to Luke Williamson ’25. The team was running on an unfamiliar course that did not include any paved sections, forcing the runners to run through a muddy trail that had developed from the rain.
“Every turn, I was sliding and had to slow down a ton just to not fall,” Williamson said.
According to Co-Captain Matthew Ottenbreit ’22, not only were the rainy conditions a challenge, but the unfamiliarity of the new path proved to be a challenge as well.
“There were parts that were really muddy and that really slowed down the race… no one in our program, including myself, had ever raced on the Deerfield course before this because it was rained out two years ago when we were supposed to race there. It was a new course to all of us and that’s always a challenge because you don’t know the optimal way to run it and pace the course,” said Ottenbreit.
Despite the harsh conditions, Ottenbreight believes the team remained optimistic and pushed throughout the entire race.
“We knew we couldn’t control the weather so everyone really leaned into the tough conditions and embraced it…I thought everyone just performed really well,” said Ottenbreit.
Constantine Krenterras ’24 agreed, adding that Andover runners stayed calm even through the unfavorable conditions.
Krenterra said, “[We were able to] keep our composure and spirits up even though it was not a very nice day.”
Though Andover did not leave Deerfield with a win, Ottenbreit feels that the team had notable performances. According to Ottenbreit, many members of the team rose to the challenge, including Matt Wasilewski ’24, who beat his personal record by two minutes and seven seconds in the race. Ottenbreit also praised Glen Cahilly ’23 and Rohan Kapoor ’23 for their performances that day.
“[Cahilly and Kapoor] are two guys who were at preseason, really strong runners in our program, but have both been dealing with injuries this season, and for Glen this was his first race back at just about full strength and for Rohan this was his first time competing this season, so two really important returns from injury for us,” said Ottenbreit.
Andover will host Phillips Academy Exeter on Saturday during A/E weekend.