Track and Field Hosts 9th and 10th Showcase and Earns Class Records and National Qualifying Times at Terrier Invitational Over the Weekend

Alfonso Gonzalez-Cano ’27 runs the mile.

Pictured in front, Wiley Roossien ’26 broke the 600m school record.

Wednesday 1/31 (18 events scored) — Andover: 187, Exeter: 152, Austin Prep: 95, Governors: 58, Wilbraham & Munson: 17, Marianapolis: 5

On Friday and Saturday, a select group of Andover Track and Field athletes went up against Division 1 collegiate-level athletes at the Terrier Invitational at Boston University. Then on Wednesday, Andover competed in a 9th and 10th grade showcase. Up against Wilbraham & Monson (Wilbraham), Governor’s, Austin Preparatory School (Austin Prep), Marianapolis, and Phillips Exeter Academy (Exeter), Andover won the 9th and 10th Showcase overall and allowed the Juniors and Lowers to shine. The team also put out impressive performances at the Terrier Invitational, with Bennett Rodgers ’26 adding nine inches to the Lower Class Record with a vault of 13’9.25,” and Tam Gavenas ’25 running an 8:14 in the 3K, earning the third-fastest time for high schoolers this year.

Wyle Roossien ’26 was impressed by Co-Captain Emerson Kington ’24, as he was able to beat his personal best in two events at the Invitational and earn a Nationals qualifying time of 22:12 in the 200-Meter Dash.

Roossien said, “So [Emerson] PR’d in the [400-Meter] and the [200-Meter] by considerable margins, and he has already PR’d once this year so far. He did incredible, and I think what’s awesome about him is he steadily improved throughout the season. For him to continue to PR is crazy, especially in the sprinting events, it’s really hard to do that.”

The Terrier Invitational offered the opportunity for high schoolers to compete at a collegiate level, and according to Roossien, it was intimidating to have to perform at that level. With that said, she believes it was partly that intimidation that allowed the athletes to perform so well.

“It was amazing… Stanford was there, Duke was there, Harvard, Brown. It was absurd, and there [were] some incredible athletes there. The atmosphere, I can’t even describe it, it was just so fun, so many people were cheering [you] on. It was loud, it was so loud, and it was smaller than Snyder [Center], so everyone was almost on top of you in a way. Everyone was there for you even if they didn’t know you. Even as high school athletes, competing in a D1 meet, it can feel intimidating, but I think we all just channeled that energy into helping us run faster, jump higher for our fielding,” said Roossien.

Wednesday was Andover’s first and only meet in which only lowerclassmen competed, and Gracie Aziabor ’26 described the atmosphere of the event as overwhelmingly positive. On Wednesday, Aziabor threw 32’2” in the shot put, extending the 9th and 10th grade Andover/Exeter meet record.

“For one, it was a bit interesting because obviously, only 9/10’s were competing at this meet, so we had pre-meet, while the upperclassmen had workouts and things. But I think that the energy was still super good, and very supportive. From what I have seen, all the underclassmen who [were] nervous, there was always someone there to tell them, oh it’s going to be a fun meet, you don’t have to stress. So it was a very supportive and encouraging environment,” said Aziabor.

Caitlin Ly ’27 emphasized Andover’s uplifting spirit, and how heavily it impacts her while she competes.

“[The] team spirit, and the energy, it’s just so good. Running and hearing all my teammates cheering, it’s one of the best feelings,” said Ly.

Aziabor highlighted the tendency for members of Track and Field to put too much pressure on themselves at meets. Aziabor noted that growth is not linear and that many athletes need to remember this before criticizing themselves too harshly.

“A lot of people on our team are too hard on themselves… Track in general is a very competitive sport, and a lot of times you are competing against yourself… Sometimes we’re too difficult or too hard on ourselves when we [don’t] get the result we want. Track is one of the sports where it’s not always a linear process. Sometimes you will have a really good meet, and sometimes, you will have a meet that’s not your best, so, it’s never a straight line towards success. I think that is something our team just needs to remember so people aren’t too down on themselves after a performance that they aren’t super proud of,” said Aziabor.

Jackson Slack ’26 laid out the plans for the upcoming practices and the teamwork that will continue to grow and exist throughout the team.

Slack said, “The team is gonna work on getting faster, getting stronger, just improving the individual strengths and becoming more cohesive within the team and just overall improving every aspect of PA Track and Field.”

Track and Field looks forward to hosting NEPSTA All-Comers Meet on February 10.