Girls Indoor Track and Field Ends Regular Season with National Qualifier and A/E Win

The Boys and Girls Indoor Track and Field teams huddle to say its cheer: “Blue, Hard Body!”

Four athletes from Andover Girls Indoor Track and Field competed at the BU Valentine meet last Friday, amongst many other high school and college athletes, securing the opportunity to compete at Nationals. The whole team then competed at Phillips Exeter Academy (Exeter) and won the rivalry.

Kendall Toth ’24, Hayden Fischer ’25, Lauren Herlihy ’25, and Emma Hagstrom ’25 were all a part of the qualifying Distance Medley Relay. According to Toth, racing at such a competitive meet against many collegiate athletes motivated and inspired the group to do so well.

“The atmosphere was insane. There were so many talented athletes of all levels, it was amazing to be in the presence of such incredible people… The energy of the meet was electric and just witnessing it all was so inspiring, intimidating yes, but mostly inspiring. This was different because it was more of us against ourselves, rather than us against other schools in our league. We went into the meet looking to qualify for Nationals, and we got our job done. When you are racing with college athletes, it’s more about how you can push yourself when you’re surrounded by such intense competition,” wrote Toth in an email to The Phillipian.

It was important to draw motivation from within the members of the relay group itself. Herlihy noted how important it was to cheer and support one another in order to achieve such a significant goal.

“It was really great because we could use each other throughout the race and cheer everyone on. It was a good thing to accomplish as a group, especially because it was such a great group,” said Herlihy.

In preparation for Nationals, the group plans to continue to consistently train, so that when the time comes to perform, they’ll be ready. Toth mentioned the excitement of Nationals and competing against athletes from across the country.

“We will compete and work really hard so when we get to Nationals, we run even faster and perform even better. It’s going to be super competitive, and we know that we have a great opportunity to show what we can do. We are super excited and also super focused,” said Toth.

At Wednesday’s meet against Exeter, Hillary Tufino ’26 highlighted that despite the rivalry between the two schools, there was still an immense amount of support from both Andover and Exeter, which allowed athletes the opportunity to perform at their best.

This was actually our first dual meet of this season because usually we go against a ton of schools, but this is the first just two schools competing against each other. It was a lot smaller and a lot more intimate. It was a lot easier to see your competition because it’s very competitive. We all went and we put in the energy and the effort to just make it a good last meet. No matter what number you got, no matter how bad you were trying to [personal record], if you were trying to qualify for Nationals, everybody wanted to be there and everybody was there to support one another. It never felt like anyone was being judged. Even as we left Exeter and we were gathering our stuff, Exeter was huddled for a group picture and they shouted, ‘Thank you, Andover,’” said Tufino.

Herlihy mentioned how much the support of Co-Captain Patricia Tran ’24 affected the whole team. Not only did she perform at an elite level, but her energy lifted up the whole team.

“I want to shout out our Captain, Patricia. She had so much spirit on the track, and it was one of her first races back. She [set a personal record] in the two mile, and she’s just always there for everyone and always cheering everyone on. It’s such a great inspiration,” said Herlihy.

A select group of athletes will compete on Sunday at the USA Track and Field New England Championship.