“Iron Sharpens Iron”: Boys Indoor Track & Field Wins Home Opener by Considerable Margin

Andover Boys Indoor Track & Field took first place by 41 points in its home opener, with team members taking individual wins in ten out of the 13 events. 

According to Sami Tokat ’26, Saturday’s home opener against North Reading, Wilbraham & Monson, Governor’s, and the Wheeler School saw thrilling energy and numerous spectators. The team’s focus was not only to gauge its early-season standing among its competitors, but also to build strong support systems. 

“For the Indoor Track program, I would say that the strength is definitely support, or always constant support. You know, we each have our own strengths and weaknesses, ready to support and push each other. We talk about iron sharpens iron. We’re all helping each other along,” said Tokat.

Russel Robinson ’25 highlighted impressive performances that contributed to the excitement of the meet, specifically those of Co-Captain Daniel Bae ’23. In his first race of the season, Bae took 0.16 seconds and 0.19 seconds off his 55-Meter and 300-Meter personal records, respectively. 

“What really stood out was Daniel Bae’s 6.74 [second 55-Meter], which is pretty close to the school record. [0.06] seconds off, which is really, really impressive…. He also won our 300-Meter race,” said Robinson. 

Tokat, likewise, highlighted the success of the team’s distance and mid-distance runners. Two runners in particular, Oliver Buckhoff ’24 and Robert Budzinski ’26 won their respective events, despite it being their first time competing for the program.

“Oli did the 600-[meter], and he won by [two seconds], and that was an incredible run. A lot of fun to watch. You saw the crowd cheering him on. He did fantastic. Another highlight I would say would be Robert Budzinski, who is a [Junior], and he won the Boys Mile with a time of around 4:55,” said Tokat.

Co-Captain Jaeyong Shim ’23 believes the team can work to better prevent injury, which is often a result of the team’s large numbers. With just ten coaches for 120 total team members, there is some difficulty in giving each athlete individualized training plans, according to Shim. 

“We have such a wide range of people. We have newcomers. We have people that have been training for months, so I think it’s hard to match that because we have a limited number of coaches…. Sometimes athletes get overworked, or they just follow the wrong training plan, and then they end up getting injured,” said Shim. 

Looking ahead, Shim explained the team’s long-term goals, some even extending to the Outdoor Track & Field season. 

“Our end goal for Indoor is just beating Exeter [Phillips Exeter Academy]. And then obviously, we’re going to go out for Outdoor and then perform at Interschols. We’re just training right now. [It was a] great season opener. So we’re just going to relax for our Winter Break and then get it going again,” said Shim.

Andover Boys Track & Field will host Governor’s, Landmark School, and Marianapolis on Wednesday, January 18.