NEPSTA Div 1 Championships
On May 18, 2019 at 10:00 AM
Big Blue wins fourth straight title with 111 points.
The Andover girls track and field team traveled to the Loomis-Chaffee School on Saturday in pursuit of their fourth straight title at the NEPSTA Division I championship. The Big Blue would not disappoint, racking up 111 points to outdistance rivals Exeter, who took second with 98 points. St. Paul’s finished third with 83.
The meet got underway with the field events, which resulted in some early points for the Big Blue. Serena Liu (’19) captured the Javelin with a personal best toss of 108-06, while Victoria Kadiri’s (’20) opening leap of 16-11.25 in the Long Jump was enough to snag a second-place finish. A 2-3 finish from Taft in the Pole Vault, however, saw the Connecticut school take the early lead after three events, leading Andover 22-18 with Hotchkiss in third with 16.
From there, attention turned to the track, where the 4x100m relay team of Athalia Esty (’22), Myra Bhathena (’22), Tessa Conrardy (’20), and Kadiri kicked things off. A rough hand-off on the first exchange, however, looked to have dashed all hopes of a fourth straight win in the event; yet, despite trailing by over 10 meters on the final exchange, Kadiri’s furious finish saw Andover snatch a stunning victory at the line, stopping the clock at 50.16 seconds, just ahead of St. Paul’s (50.21) and Exeter (50.22). More importantly, however, it saw Andover take a 28-22 point lead over Taft, with St. Paul’s (21) and Exeter (20) trailing close behind.
The prelims of the 100 Hurdles and the 100m Dash would follow the relays, which saw Conrardy and Bhathena qualify for the finals with a 1-2 finish in the second heat, posting times of 15.85 and 15.86, respectively. Kadiri would also snag a spot in the 100m finals, clocking 12.78 in her preliminary heat, putting Andover in position to collect some big points later on.
With the prelims now complete, St. Paul’s and Exeter would pick up points in the 1500m to leapfrog Andover for the team lead, though a 2-4 finish from Lillie Cooper (’21) and Esty in the 400m, posting times of 58.95 and 1:01.75, respectively, saw the Big Blue claw their way back, now trailing St. Paul’s by just a single point, 41-40, with Exeter in third at 32.
Back to the straightaway, a win for St. Paul’s in the 100m saw the Pelicans extend their lead, but a fourth-place finish from Kadiri (12.75) kept Andover within touching distance, just seven points back with 44. Indeed, St. Paul’s lead wouldn’t long, as a 2-3 finish from Bhathena (15.26 – also a new junior class record!) and Conrardy (15.48) in the 100m Hurdles saw the Big Blue surge ahead. And with Melanie Cheung (’20) and Kiera Suh (’22) taking second and fourth in the triple jump, both posting season best marks of 35-06.00 and 34-03.25, respectively, along with a second place finish from Carolina Weatherall (’21) in the High Jump (5-00.00), Andover was moving into poll position to claim their fourth straight NEPSTA title, now holding a 21-point advantage over St. Paul’s (57), with Exeter (54) and Taft (51) in third and fourth after 12 events.
But the league wasn’t going down without a fight. A sixth place finish and a season best time of 2:25.34 from Sadie Cheston-Harris (’20) in the 800m saw Andover pick up another point, yet a second place finish from St. Paul’s and a 3-4 finish from Exeter in the same event saw the Big Blue’s lead narrow, now standing at 79 to Exeter’s 66 and St. Paul’s 65.
Now with just four events remaining, Andover would pick up a huge 1-2 finish in the 300m Hurdles, with Conrardy (the defending 2018 champion) winning the event in 46.39 seconds, followed by Bhathena in 46.55 (her second class record of the day), good for 18 points and what was now looking like an insurmountable lead, standing at 97-66 over Exeter. And indeed, Cooper would clinch the title for the Big Blue in the 200m, stopping the clock at 26.46 seconds to take fourth place and four points, bringing the team’s total to 101 – a mark that no team could now match.
Exeter would claw a few points back in the 3000m with a 1-2 finish of their own, but the 4x400m relay team of Conrardy, Bhathena, Esty, and Cooper were not to be denied one more win on the afternoon. The quartet would clock 4:02.61 – one of the fastest times in meet history – to claim the win and put an exclamation point on another stellar day. The Big Blue will be back in action one more time as the visit Exeter on Saturday, May 25th to close out their season.
Full results in link.
Further more detailed results.