Girls Track Distance Medley Relay Team Qualifies for Nationals

Hayden Fischer ’24 ran the 800-meter leg of the Girls Distance Medley Relay.

Enduring the cancellation of its first meet, Girls Track headed to Deerfield, where it was narrowly edged out of first place by Loomis Chaffee, despite boasting 68 points. The team’s record now stands at 2-0. 

Pierre ’23 expressed their appreciation to have an away meet––a mark of the outdoor season. The new environment and numerous competitors from various schools allowed throwers like Pierre to engage and compete fiercely.

Pierre said, “We don’t ever leave for the winter season, because we have the best indoor facilities and Covid has prevented us from anything in general, for the past couple of years. It was fun to see everyone, like a lot of schools compete… A lot of schools that are great at throwing. And we’re actually comparatively pretty good.”

Caroline Ho ’22, who competed in the 4×100-meter relay pole vault emphasized the speciality of having a relay meet. These types of meets are unique since they allow for the collective team to compete for each other, rather than with each other, fostering a new sense of team unity.

“I had never seen a pole vault relay before or any other jumps individual event relay. So it was really interesting to see… but I think the relay really made it seem like a group effort. Even though track is like a lot of times an individual sport, so [that was] fun,” said Ho.

Abbie Cheng ’23 highlighted the successes of the meet, more specifically on the distance front. Cheng noted how the grit and perseverance of the runners allowed Girls Distance Medley Relay team to qualify for nationals.

“The girls distance runners performed really well and broke a meet record as well as qualified for nationals! It was fun to watch them crush it on the track and keep their drive even when they were so far ahead,” wrote Cheng in an email to The Phillipian.

According to Pierre, even though competition is the basis of these events, sportsmanships is the foundation where competition is built upon. Pierre highlighted Loomis’ performance in all the events, and that its dedication was appreciated by fellow competitors.

Pierre said, “Loomis has an amazing track record, and they got first overall. The throwers were so fast, and they threw so far, and they just had very high standards for themselves, which I really enjoy seeing them compete as a competitor. And you could just tell them like [they had] amazing coaching.”

Similarly, Cheng values the level of enthusiasm the competitors had, which seeped through the whole meet, encouraging others to join in. All the different events received a plethora of cheering, which encouraged a positive atmosphere. 

“For me, the highlight was the energy that other teams brought. The Deerfield athletes were super supportive of each other, and it was great to feed off that energy. They were so supportive [of the] high jump, too, so I loved how field events were valued as much as track events,” wrote Cheng.

Additionally, Ho noted the importance of building chemistry within the large track team. As a relay meet, teammates were expected to work with and for each other. While doing so, a level of familiarity is needed to perform the best people can. With so many different people on the team, Ho enjoys being a part of a community with different backgrounds––a valuable aspect that track has brought into her life. 

“I’d say that a lot of it comes from team culture. We have team norms that we follow that are outlined. And we go over those, we started going over them this season. It’s just a very supportive group. Especially since it’s so diverse across grades. And I’d say that is a big part of it. Also, specifically with the Deerfield meet, it was all relay events. So even like jumps, events that typically don’t have combined scores, it was all combined together as a group. So that made it a lot more fun and a sort of team-way,” said Ho.

Regarding personal goals, Pierre hopes to improve their events through extensive practice and working closely with the coaches. But also engaging with different competitors they meet at events, which can bring a lot of joy.

“I want to PR. I [also] want to meet more people. Our next meet is at St. Paul’s, and I want to talk to other competitors. I just have so much fun at those meets. Especially like just getting to know everyone else,” said Pierre.

Andover will compete away against Concord Academy and St. Paul’s on Wednesday. 

Editor’s Note: Abbie Cheng is an Illustration Editor for The Phillipian.