Track and Field Competes at 2023 New Balance Nationals Indoor

Pictured from left to right: Grace Hammond ’23, Audrey Powers ’24, Coach Matthew McMasters, Wiley Rosossien ’26, and Jazzy Cormier ’24

Tam Gavenas ’25, pictured with Coach Patrick Rielly, was the fastest sophomore in the 2-Mile at NBNI, running a time of 9:10.45 and placing thirtieth overall.

Eight Andover Track and Field athletes ended their season against top high-schoolers in the nation at New Balance Nationals Indoor (NBNI), nicknamed the “fastest party on the planet.” From March 9 to 12, NBNI was held at the TRACK at New Balance in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Since the team’s season had ended two weeks before NBNI, competing athletes had to prepare outside of their normal season practices, according to Audrey Powers ’24. Powers raced in the 4×200-Meter Relay, alongside teammates Wylie Roossien ’26, Grace Hammond ’23, and Jazzy Cormier ’24. 

“[Our preparation] was really a mix of everything. Only two of our relay members were actually local over [Spring Break], so while we were in school we did a lot of training just the four of us, practices in Snyder [Center]… There were some practices [during Spring Break] where it was just me working with [Coach Matthew McMasters] on very specific stuff relative to each relay leg, and there were some others where another local relay member, Wylie Roossien was able to come over, and the two of us were able to work on tech stuff together and practice together there,” said Powers.

Some athletes competed in multiple events over the course of four days, presenting both mental and physical challenges during preparation and recovery. Running in the Freshman Mile on March 9 and the Freshman 800-Meter on March 12, Robert Budzinski ’26 took his second race as an opportunity to fix mistakes in his race plan. 

“[What changed between those days] was just mindset. I prepared myself…I didn’t run aggressive enough in the [Freshman] Mile, so in the 800[-Meter], I said, ‘I’m going to go out, and I’m going to run aggressive and really try to put myself in the front of the race,’ and I did that. It was more of a mentality change. I saw what didn’t work the first time, and I changed it, which I think was a great opportunity I got since I had so much time in between the races,” said Budzinski.

Also competing at NBNI was Tam Gavenas ’25, Emma Hagstrom ’25, and Max Huang ’24. Huang, who raced in the Rising Stars 2-Mile, shared the team’s strategy for keeping the energy up at such a high-stakes meet.

“[At] some of the smaller meets, where it was a dual meet or a three team meet, you’re always going to have so many people cheering just for you around the track. It was a little different [at NBNI] because there are only one or two voices cheering for you when you’re racing, but I think everyone who went from Andover was cheering super loudly, and they were super encouraging, so that helped. It was so loud when you were racing you could just channel all of that energy anyway,” said Huang.

In addition to the 4×200-Meter Relay, Roossien ran in the Freshman 400-Meter, placing ninth overall. She noted that the difference between her two races was the support she felt from her relay teammates.

“[With support], you don’t have to do everything. You don’t have to bear the entire race on your shoulders… Personally, I don’t really get scared about the result, but more about how much some of those races hurt. They are exhausting, especially towards the end, so I was fearing that. For a relay team, it’s really awesome because we’re all in it together. We all get to experience that pain, and then we get to cheer each other on. It’s never quiet on the track. We’re always supporting each other, always cheering each other on,” said Roossien.

According to Budzinski, support also came from the coaches who held practice in Snyder Center after the end of the team’s regular season, in addition to cheering on the team at NBNI. Budzinski noted how much he appreciated the coaches’ guidance despite them being on Spring Break.

“One thing I would like to say, the coaches came to the meet during their Spring Break, which I felt was really nice and kind of them and selfless. I think that should be recognized that the coaches took time out of their own break to come and help support us at the meet,” said Budzinski.

Of the eight who competed at NBNI, seven will be returning for the Outdoor Track and Field season.