Depth Fuels Victory Over Exeter
At home on February 15, 2017 at 3:00 PM
Noah Ward '17 Shatters 41 Year Old Shot Put Record
With fourteen different athletes scoring points on Wednesday afternoon, the Andover boys relied on a combination of balance and depth to claim their second consecutive victory (53.5 to 41.5) over rivals Exeter in their annual dual meet, the final such event to be held at the Case Memorial Cage after 94 years.
Indeed, with the construction of the nearby Snyder Center nearing completion, the Andover track and field team will relocate to a new 200-meter indoor facility for the 2017-18 season, marking the end of an era in Andover athletics. It was perhaps fitting then that the afternoon began with a celebration of the Cage’s history, culminating in a national anthem sung by athletes from both Andover and Exeter.
On a day where Andover athletes would step up across the board, it was Noah Ward ’17 who delivered the marquee performance at the onset of the competition, shattering the 41-year old Phillips Academy school record of 55-08 in the Shot Put with a heave of 63-00. Ward’s effort led a 1-2-3 sweep of the event, with teammates John Rex ’17 and Tyler Craigwell ’18 filling out the other two spots. Giacomo Marino ’18 would also deliver a victory in the first event on the track, outkicking Exeter’s top runner in the final lap to post a personal best winning time of 4:36.9 to hand Andover the early advantage.
On the straightaway, Michael McCullom ’18 and Will Sirmon ’17 grabbed a pair of second place finishes in the 50-yard hurdles and 50-yard dash, both posting season best times of 7.14 and 5.87, respectively. Josh Thomas ’19 also snagged half a point in the dash, tying the Exeter runner for third.
Exeter would claim victories in both the 600 and 2 mile, but Andover would grab the second and third place finishes in each event to keep the meet close, as Nathan Goldthwaite ’18 and Sam Tobin ’18 finished 2-3 in the former, while Jacob Buehler ’19 and Marino went 2-3 in the latter.
Back to the field events, Henry Wakelin ’17 and Rohan Lewis ’17 elevated their performances in a big way, both clearing a season best height of 5-04 to take first and second place. Yet, an Exeter sweep of the long jump meant that Andover only held a slim 2-point lead heading into the 300-yard dash, leaving the Cage buzzing with anticipation.
But the Big Blue would keep their cool, as Andrei Dumitrescu ’18 and Capt. Will Hartemink ’17 laid down an emphatic performance, posting season best times of 36.19 and 36.40 to take first and second place, stretching Andover’s lead to nine points. From there, a 2-3 finish in the 1000 from Goldthwaite and Tobin was enough to clinch the victory for the Big Blue, leaving the relay team of Dumitrescu, Lewis, Wakelin, and Hartemink to put the cherry on top with a victory in the 4x400m, posting yet another season best mark of 3:50.90.
Andover will be in action again this coming Sunday at the USATF New England Championships at Harvard University, which will mark the final competition of the indoor season.