Tam Gavenas ’25 Breaks Andover Boys Cross Country Home Course School Record

Gavenas’ time was just 11 seconds short of the 15:19 course record set by NMH’s Alex Ehrenthal in 2019.

Max Huang ’24 (pictured right) placed second with a time of 16:43.

Finishing with a time of 15:30 on Andover’s 5k course, Tam Gavenas ’25 claimed first place and set a new school record for Andover Boys Cross Country by eight seconds. Gavenas’ win led to Andover beating St. Paul’s 15-48 and Austin Prep 15-50. The team’s record in dual meets now stands at 3-0. 

According to Co-Captain Rohan Kapoor ’23, he was reminded of his first family weekend race this weekend when the previous course record was set by Chris Ratcliffe PG’20. Kapoor was also impressed with the number of individual victories the team had.

“[Tam] ran a thirty second-almost PR, at a 15:30, and I remember my freshman year family weekend when Chris Ratcliffe, in 2020, set the course record, or the school record, that day. I still remember that and I told [Tam] about it in the week and that was a lot of pressure on him but he went out there and ran an amazing race, and obviously now he holds that school record… [We also had] 26 personal records on the course, so that was pretty crazy. Of those 21 course debuts, and eight team debuts who hadn’t come to any meets before, so that was really awesome,” said Kapoor.

According to Luke Williamson ’25, Andover worked on familiarizing themselves with the course in the days leading up to the race, to take advantage of running on the team’s home course. 

Williamson said, “So this was our only home meet of the year, so we worked a lot on the strategy. We ran the course a few times…[on Monday] they were running repeats of the Sanctuary and strategizing in there. Then we ran it on Friday with our parents. Our other workout, on Wednesday, was thousand [meter] repeats…for the home course advantage. We were getting ready to run our own course, that was big.”

According to Mario Calvo ’24, one of the team’s weaknesses has been its ability to focus on improving everyday. Calvo noted that this is an aspect of the team that needs to improve in upcoming weeks. 

“Coach Richie and Coach Reilly have been preaching a lot [about] focus. I think this has been a slight weakness for the team these past couple of weeks. In terms of workouts…while camaraderie is always welcome on such a team, there also comes a time where we need to focus on the objective, and that is to improve the most we can…Just having this idea of focus being instilled during every workout has really helped this team tune out some of the noise and distractions, and focus on becoming…better runner[s], both mentally and physically.”

According to Williamson, one of the team’s strengths this season has been its energy. Williamson noted that the energy created an electric atmosphere that encouraged the team to perform to the best of its ability. 

“We were cheering super loud, and after our race was done, we got out and cheered for the other boys coming in and then the girls in their race, and then we blasted our own music and it was just a ton of fun. Everyone was super happy. Everyone ran well,” Williamson said.

Looking ahead, Calvo believes that the team will continue to work on keeping consistent paces throughout the entire race, which is specifically effective on courses with a variety of terrain.

Calvo said, “What happens with consistency is that there is a lot of [different] terrain that we face as runners on every single course that we run, so what we need to think about is okay, how are we going to make sure that we’re not totally and completely gassed at the end of each hill, that we’re not going out too fast on [that] first mile. That we can win those 50-50 matchups at the end of a race in those last 200, 100 meters…If we can make sure [we] have those little details really nailed down, then I think this team is going to be a lot more successful as well.”

Andover will face Northfield Mount Hermon, Deerfield Academy, and Phillips Exeter Academy at next Saturday’s quad meet at Exeter.