Andover Girls Indoor Track & Field Wins by Four Points in “Intense” Home Opener

Maddie Redmond ’25 prepares to throw.

A final lean at the finish line in the 4 x 400-meter relay pushed Andover Girls Indoor Track & Field to a win over North Reading, Governor’s, Wilbraham and Monson, and the Wheeler School in its home opener. 

Competing in the meet’s final event, members of the 4 x 400-meter relay were already fatigued from participating in events prior, but nonetheless gave it their all, according to Kendall Toth ’24. 

Running stride-for-stride behind Governor’s anchor leg, Toth gained the lead in the final straight and leaned farther over the finish line to secure the win. 

“[The runner from Governor’s] and I were close until the last 200 meters where she had a lead, but I was not about to let the other girls down knowing how hard they worked. So, I gave it everything I had at the end, and didn’t look behind me because I knew Governor’s was right on my heels. I didn’t know how close until the last ten meters…. It was intense and exciting and shocking and tiring in the best way possible. The energy and adrenaline and the cheering from the amazing crowd all created a feeling and a scene that are both indescribable,” wrote Toth in an email to The Phillipian. 

The win in the 4 x 400-meter relay ultimately gave Andover enough points to take first in the team standing by a marginal four points. Besides Toth, the relay team’s other runners, Hayden Fischer ’25, Emma Hagstrom ’25, and Lucy Parker ’26, were all lowerclassmen. Langan Garrett ’24 highlighted the younger members of the team who have the potential to grow exponentially in the three to four years to come. 

“I think that both teams, both the girls and the boys teams, beat the other schools by a good margin, but I think it’s a younger team. A lot of Seniors graduated last year, so there’s a lot of potential with the younger students,” said Garrett.

According to Gracie Aziabor ’26, a key part in the team’s performance came from the energy and connections the team formed in the first two weeks of practices. Despite the 120-person team, Aziabor found that it was easier than expected to form bonds with teammates.

“At the beginning, I definitely thought it would be hard for me to connect to most of my teammates just because of the amount of people, but there’s lots of things the team does as a group that gets us all to connect and get to know each other better. For example, there are buddy groups. They assign you a random group of people who are in different events and things, just so you can get to know them better and cheer them on… Also, there are lots of fun traditions…it’s just something everyone can bond over,” said Aziabor.

Annabel Tu ’25 noted that in Track & Field, people compete in various events at different levels, making progress individualized for everyone. Tu commented that a common goal of the team is to continue improving as a whole, no matter what the specific goals of each individual look like. 

“With track, especially since they combined [Junior Varsity] and Varsity, everyone is at a different level when they come into the sport. So I think a goal for everyone is just to improve. It’s not like there’s a common time or distance or number that you have to reach for everyone because everyone is at a different skill level. Everyone has their own personal goal of improving upon their mark, no matter what it is,” said Tu.

Looking ahead, team members expressed hopes to work on its recovery habits and reflection. Aziabor emphasized the importance of assessing performances after meets in order to identify weaknesses to improve upon. 

“While you’re at meets, you’re pushing yourself really, really hard, and so when you’re going back to practice you don’t want to completely throw yourself into a 100 percent workout just yet… Analyzing how the performances went at the meet, and using what we know about said performances to improve…just using what we know about the preparation for the meet, seeing how that affects our performance, and then going from there and trying to make little tweaks and changes to maximize our performance in the upcoming meets,” said Aziabor.

Andover Girls Indoor Track & Field will race at home against Governor’s, Marianapolis, the Landmark School, Wilbraham and Monson, Lawrence High, and Austin Preparatory School on Wednesday, January 18.