Boys Cross Country Defeats Choate with Strategic Race Plan

On Saturday, Andover Boys Cross Country headed to Choate to race its first dual meet of the season. The race resulted in a 16-43 win for the team, putting its dual meet record at 1-0.

In preparation for the race, the team utilized a 3-D printed model of Choate’s course, created by teammate Lundeen Cahilly ’24. According to Coach Keri Lambert, the model allowed the team to scope out the course and develop key race strategies.

“As usual, we ran an easy pre-meet run on Friday afternoon. After that, we looked at a 3-D model of the race map to get a sense of the elevation changes, loops, and more. One of the boys’ team members, Lundeen Cahilly, made the model at the Makerspace. It’s so cool! And it’s really useful as a coaching tool. I definitely hope he makes more for the other courses we’ll visit this year,” wrote Coach Lambert

According to Vance Fabrizio ’24, the team planned to start the race conservatively, then gradually built up speed towards the end. This race plan allowed the team to adapt to the elevation gain of the course. 

“They had a big hill around mile two and the race plan was to go out easier in the first mile and then in the second mile really attack the hill. Then in the third mile, because the last mile was almost all downhill, the third mile, we went very fast. So stay conservative to start with and then build up the pace until the end,” said Fabrizio.

Max Boesch-Powers ’24 highlighted the pack running strategy that the team utilized throughout this race, which contributed to its success. In addition to the Varsity win, the team took all top seven individual spots in the JV race, sweeping Choate with a 15-50 win. 

 “I ran with [Vance] and stuck with him because we were going for the same time. I saw other people on the team doing that too, and it helps people push each other. We also did well overall…We just did well with times. It was a new course for everyone with a really tough hill in it, and people did a good job. They were saying they wanted to start walking, but they pushed through it,” said Boesch-Powers. 

According to Fabrizio, dual meets require more individual focus and motivation, in great part due to the smaller scale of the race. However, a benefit of having less runners in a race is the ability to run from one place to the next in the shortest possible line, leading to faster times overall. 

“I think dual meet obviously [has] less runners so it requires more mental focus because there’s not as many people cheering you on as an invitational. You can really run the shortest course because you don’t have to run around other people, like the other runners, ” said Fabrizio.

According to Boesch-Powers, the team is working on maintaining its focus during practice so that it is familiar with the amount of focus needed when transitioning to the race environment. With such a young team, the team is still continuing to build strong, encouraging relationships, especially during hard races like this one. 

“We are working on staying focused and when we are doing workouts, we want to do them well. When we are in races we want to stay focused and realize that we are in a race setting, and we are trying to give everything we have to that race and leave everything out on that course. We also want to build team relationships because we have a pretty young team, and we want to make sure that we can all work together and encourage each other and have a good team for years to come,” said Boesch-Powers.

Andover Boys Cross Country will host Austin Preparatory School and St. Paul’s this Saturday for Family Weekend.