The Andover girls 4x800 relay entered the Andover Boosters Meet as the No. 9 seed. But the foursome was ready to prove the doubters wrong.
The team of Cate Donovan, Gwyneth Minor, Sarah Rothmann and Sophie Draper teamed to earn a dominant victory, leading the Golden Warriors to the girls team title and overall team crown on Saturday.
The victory was dedicated to late track coach Dick Collins.
“Before the meet, we said we knew Coach Collins was looking down on us,” said coach Peter Comeau, who spoke during a ceremony for Collins before the meet. “We were not the favorites to win this meet, so to do it, I really feel like he was up there helping us. We wanted to win this for him.”
The 4x800 was a runaway winner in 9:53.97, far outdistancing No. 2 Newton South (10:00.40).
“You just have to forget where you are seeded because it doesn’t matter,” Draper said. “We showed what we could do it. We worked together and give it our all.”
Hannah Chapman added another gold for the Golden Warriors, winning the triple jump and scoring a second in the 110 hurdles. Also adding runner-ups were Hannah Ameen (100) and Erin Longee (javelin).
Boys take second
Following the 400 at the Andover Boosters, a talented competitor in the race looked at a bystander and said it all.
“Wow,” said the athlete, “(Hamza) Naveed from Andover was amazing.”
Andover’s Naveed delivered his best outing of the season, flying to the 400 title in 50.14 to help the Golden Warrior boys to a second-place finish as a team.
“I was seeded second but I just knew I could win,” Naveed said. “I haven’t been running terribly well this season, so to show myself and everyone that I can still run a winning time means a lot. I really wanted this win.”