Andover Hosts and Enjoys Podium Finishes in NEPSAC Championship Meet

Phillips Academy Cross Country had the honor of hosting the Division I NEPSAC Cross Country Championship this past Saturday. Fourteen girls teams and fifteen boys teams from a total of nineteen schools sent roughly 500 athletes to compete on Andover’s home course, with four races taking place over the course of the afternoon. Overall, Phillips Academy Girls Cross Country claimed 3rd place in the Varsity race, behind Loomis (2nd) and Exeter (1st), as well as 2nd place in the JV race, behind Exeter.

Although just the day before, heavy rains and winds had pelted campus, the course was in terrific shape by the time the Girls Varsity race began at 1:15pm. The Academy’s Grounds Crew spent the morning clearing away a downed tree and leveling out the deep ruts in the tough outer loop of the course, which runs through the Cochran Sanctuary on the P.A. campus. Among the very first runners who traversed the freshly-groomed course was Andover’s own Charlotte Whitehurst ‘22, who claimed All-New England honors by placing 4th in the Girls Varsity Race. Teammates Tiffany Tang ‘22 and Caroline Empey ‘22 likewise claimed All-N.E. honors by placing in the Top 20 (17th and 18th respectively). Rounding out Andover’s top 5 in the Varsity squad were first-year Emma Hagstrom ‘25 (31st) and 11th grader Izzy Alvarez Martinez ‘23 (32nd).

In the JV race, PAGXC managed to put five team members in the top 20, including two podium finishes by Claire de Saint Phalle ‘22 (2nd place) and Ashley Song ‘23 (3rd place), as well as Maya Tang ‘23 (10th), Edy Leach ‘25 (13th), and Vanessa Fan ‘23 (20th). Edy, Vanessa, and teammate Chloe Kindangen '23 all closed out the season on particularly strong notes by running new personal 5k records.

While all Phillips Academy Cross Country coaches worked to coordinate the large championship event, senior captain Natasha Muromcew ‘22 stepped up to direct the team throughout the race day. Her leadership kept all team members organized, on time, and ready to give the competition everything they had.

Of the eighteen PAGXC team members who competed on Saturday, five were seniors who ran their final XC race in an Andover singlet. The program will miss them and its twelve other graduating seniors terribly next year. Nevertheless, PAGXC has much to look forward to with a sizeable cohort of enthusiastic and dedicated returning team members who are already looking forward to seasons to come.

Full results for all races can be found here.