In the final official meet of the season, Andover Girls Varsity Indoor Track & Field capped off a successful season with many personal records in a home meet against Phillips Exeter Academy. This meet followed the Boston University Valentine Invitational Meet on Friday, which paved the team’s way into the New Balance Indoor Nationals that will take place in New York in March.
According to Patricia Tran ’24, the team’s success against Exeter was a result of its work on strategy before the meet. She expressed her excitement that every runner could perform to the best of their capabilities, with many records set.
“It was amazing. The girls’ side won… Everybody was just running as fast as they could really. [On] the distance side, we were just focusing on pre-strategy. And I think everybody just ran very smart races. The 1000 meter [race] ended in a photo finish. I think a four by 200 score record was set. It was very exciting,” said Tran.
Hayden Fischer ’25 congratulated Charlotte Whitehurst ’22, another player who qualified for Nationals, on her strategic race.
Fischer said, “Charlotte Whitehurst performed super well today. She ran both the 2-mile and the 1000. I think [in] a lot of those races, we were just trying to score points. She ran a very tactically smart race. She came in, and she got second for the girls in the two mile. I believe she tied with [the] first place Exeter [girl] in the 1000, but really gave it her all [in the] last lap.”
Tran also highlighted Whitehurst’s race from the Andover-Exeter Meet. The race ended in a tie with an Exeter racer, a rare occurrence that reflected a titanic battle between the two over 1000 meters.
“… The 1000 meter [race] ended in a photo finish between Charlotte Whitehurst and an Exeter girl who ran all out [and both] kicked very hard. [At first] Charlotte was leading and then the Exeter girl was on her tail with every step and the time was so close that there [was] no time difference. Like they had the same time. And you couldn’t even tell from the photo who won,” said Tran.
The Boston University Invitational was a significant event in which Fischer, Whitehurst, Tran, and Esme Huh ’22 competed in a relay. Although the relay team made it to Nationals, confusion with officials making them run an extra 200 meters frustrated Andover. Huh expressed her satisfaction with the day’s results despite Andover’s frustration.
“It’s definitely very exciting. It wasn’t exactly as clean and happy as we wanted it to be because of the extra lap. I finished my race. I was confused [because when I] counted the laps, I finished hard in the sixth lap, and then they had me run another one…As everyone else was going, it was definitely hard for them mentally just knowing that our time was not going to be what we thought it was going to [be] because there was an extra 200 meters in the race…It was a long process. Then, we realized that we actually did hit the mark. So I think when we realized that. it was amazing, but there’s definitely a lot of anger and sadness in the 30 minutes to an hour in between,” said Huh.
Fischer also commanded her relay team as they worked very hard to hit the mark of the Nationals requirements. She also commented on the team spirit that they have crafted thus far.
Fischer said, “I’m glad we’re going as a team, because track can come off as an individual sport. But I think the BU Invitational may definitely prove that it is a team sport, and you do run for the team.”
For the rest of the season, Andover will compete among the team for runners to try out new events.