Andover Finishes Season Undefeated With Narrow Win Over Exeter
At home on February 15, 2017 at 3:00 PM
Lucas '18 and Valentine '17 Score a Combined 27 Points
Fueled by a combined 27 points from Fredericka Lucas ’18 and Samantha Valentine ’17, the Andover girls claimed their second consecutive one-point victory (48 to 47) over rivals Exeter in their annual dual meet, the final such event to be held at the Cage 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.
From there, however, it was all business, as the Big Blue got off to a strong start. Sanch Sen ’20 and Capt. Sidney Holder ’17 claimed first and second place in the long jump, which was followed by a record setting run by Valentine in the mile. Her time of 5:18.4 eclipsed the old meet record of 5:20, set back in 2011.
The focus would then turn to the straightaway, where the top three finishers in the 50-yard hurdles were separated by a scant 0.01 seconds. A late lean from Deyana Marsh ’17 meant the race would finish in a dead heat for first, with Marsh’s time of 8.12 identical to the athlete from Exeter.
The result of the 50-yard dash, however, would require no additional review, as Lucas claimed her first of three victories on the day in a dominating fashion, posting a blistering time of 6.48 – just .08 seconds off the Andover school record. Holder would comfortably secure second place in the event, her time of 6.69 just shy of her personal best.
While the races on the track continued to unfold, Andover would score key points in the field events, where a Lucas victory in the High Jump, as well as a 2-3 finish in the Shot Put from Miles Kaufman ’19 and Katherine McIntire ’19, allowed the Big Blue to build up a small cushion. Yet, an Exeter sweep of the 600 meant that the competition would remain close.
With the pressure on, Andover would score key victories through Valentine and Lucas in the 2-mile 11:47.4 and 300 yard dash 40.26, respectively, along with a third-place finish by Josephina Caico ’19 in the 300, allowing Valentine to clinch the competition for the second year running with a second place in the 1000 2:55.3.
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.