What a difference a year makes! A year ago at Andover a cold rain fell over the Deerfield – Andover dual meet; this Saturday felt more like a day for a spring track meet than a late fall cross country race. The sun shone and a light breeze blew as two old rivals met once again for a spirited race around Andover’s beautiful course. As they did last year, the Andover boys prevailed in a close meet, edging Deerfield 27 – 32.
As has been their habit this season, Deerfield put a strong pack of runners near the front of the field, though no one was an equal for Andover’s Ian Whittall. Running from the front from the gun, Whittall dominated his home course to win in 16:23. Deerfield’s Robert Beit challenged Whittall throughout the race, nearly outkicking him over the final quarter-mile; Beit finished 2nd in 16:26. George Reich and Ben Wood were close behind Beit, finishing 3rd and 4th. Andover’s next eight runners finished before Deerfield’s fourth, sealing the victory for the hometown team. Gene Thagard held Deerfield’s fourth spot on this day, finishing 13th; tri-captain Teddy Romeyn rounded out the scoring in 14th place.
Buoyed by a strong finishing kick, Henry Sanford took Deerfield’s top spot in the Junior Varsity race, finishing 5th overall in 19:18. He was followed by Martin Gaspar (11th) and Anthony Lauw (18th).
Deerfield’s harriers have one more dual meet on their schedule; they will host Northfield Mount Hermon next Saturday. For Deerfield’s seniors, it will be their last race on their home course; come out to wish them well and send them off to New Englands!