Juniors and Lowers on Andover Girls Track and Field traveled to Phillips Exeter Academy on Wednesday to race against Exeter, Governor’s, Wilbraham & Monson, and Marianapolis. The team won by a margin of 93 points, with Gracie Aziabor ’26 breaking the Junior class record in the 55-Meter Dash. Wylie Roossien ’26 also broke the Junior class record and meet record in both the 300-Meter and 600-Meter events.
In preparation for the lowerclassmen meet, the team stuck to its usual training plan but incorporated some skills that were unfamiliar to younger athletes, such as baton passing. Annabel Tu ’25 described how the atmosphere of the meet was different without upperclassmen in attendance.
“The preparation was similar. We train every day to get faster and stronger. I also think there are people who did events that they don’t usually do that often. Especially some relays because sometimes it’s mostly an upperclassman running them. So we had to practice, like some people who typically don’t do relays, they had to practice baton hand-offs… There weren’t as many upperclassmen there, so we had to figure out more stuff on our own,” said Tu.
Gracie Aziabor ’26 highlighted the supportiveness of the team when breaking the Junior class record. Aziabor also appreciated how every team member displayed enthusiasm, and everyone got their own moment of encouragement and congratulations.
“[I] like the fact how you get your moment to celebrate, and then, it’s straight back to cheering on your teammates and embodying the PATF spirit. I think it’s really great, because the fifty-five [meter] was one of my earlier events. I still had the [four by two hundred-meter Relay], and I still had to finish shot put, so I loved how everyone was there to congratulate me, and everyone was like, ‘Oh, we’re so proud of you.’ That was great,” said Aziabor.
According to Hayden Fischer ’25, an only lowerclassmen meet is very different from what the team is used to. Fischer noted that the experience allowed lowerclassmen to compete at their best without the stress of competing against athletes two or even three years older.
“I think it is definitely fun being the only ninth and tenth graders there because it can be quite intimidating racing against people that are a lot older. So just having people that are closer in age is almost comforting in a sense,” said Fischer.
With just two full-team meets until the end of the season, the team hopes to continue improving and staying consistent. Aziabor also emphasized the importance of making connections within the whole Andover Track and Field program, which consists of both the boys and girls teams.
“As the season is coming to an end, we’re trying to stay motivated, stay focused. For a lot of people, me included, sometimes when I near towards the end of things, I lose motivation. I’m like, ‘Okay, it’s practically over.’ We’re just working to keep the motivation up, and also still get to know each other better, because there’s a hundred and thirty-something people on the track team, which is a lot of people, and we train in split-up groups,” said Aziabor.
Andover Girls Track and Field will host the NEPSTA All-Comers Meet on Wednesday.
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