Looking to extend its win streak heading into Interschols, Andover Boys Cross Country is concentrated on challenging Phillips Exeter Academy in this upcoming Andover vs. Exeter Meet.
According to Robert Budinski ’26, the team is focused on improving individually. Exeter’s course will be the only course this year that Andover runs twice on, which allows runners a chance to reflect back on challenges and overcome them
Budinski said, “We are not necessarily super focused on beating Exeter, I mean we would love to beat Exeter… I think the main emphasis that Coach Rielly put on the races is everyone going out there running their best, and running their hardest and getting as many people to run their personal best as they can.”
Head Coach Patrick Rielly shared that all he is hoping for from his runners is for them to give their best effort.
“Our mentality against Exeter, as always, will be ‘Leave it on the course’. I want all of our runners to cross the finish line knowing they’ve given their best effort. If they do, then we’ll have a lot to be proud of and celebrate,” said Coach Rielly.
Two weekends ago Andover had a Quad Meet at Exeter where the weather perpetuated slower race times. This time, Andover looks forward to racing with more ease, shared Coach Rielly.
“We were lucky to see Exeter’s home course last weekend, so our team will know Exeter’s course much better for Andover-Exeter. Exeter’s course is much flatter than ours, so our runners will have to avoid getting disconnected in the many winding trails in the Exeter woods,” said Coach Rielly.
Siiso Daauud ’23, who raced placed third for Andover in the Exeter Invitational, shared about Andover’s systematic plan going into the A/E Meet. The importance of such systems allow a diverse selection of runners to help each other.
Daauud said, “We basically [pair] up, and be in a pack when you are running so they motivate you, and so you have people you know around you to push you. I feel like we didn’t have a lot of focus on that prior to the Exeter race. Today, we were training in a pack or in pairs to get a feeling on how we would do in the Exeter race, so I think that will be a huge part of it, to be with someone and not feel like you are running on your own.”
Andover looks forward to racing against Exeter this Saturday.