by Jason Olson
Andover cross country ran away with both boys’ and girls’ team titles to repeat at the Buffalo Invitational Sept. 29.
The girls defended their team title in the field of 15 teams with another strong effort from the top. Maddie McKeefry won the girls’ race, while Nicole Heitzman placed third, yet again, for the Huskies.
McKeefry dueled with Armstrong standout Emily Knapczyk for the lead as the Falcons runner went out fast, but McKeefry reeled her back and caught up to her just before a large hill about 400 meters from the finish line.
“Maddie ran a fantastic race to chase down Emily,” Andover coach Scott Clark said as windy conditions slowed times significantly. “Maddie was tenacious throughout the last half of the race. Every time Emily would make a move to pull away Maddie would stay focused and close the gap a little more.”
Ellie Haskins placed 10th, Jane Schmitz was 11th and Katie Larson was 13th to account for the Huskies scoring.
Andover boys edged No. 11 ranked Centennial by 17 points for the boys’ team win, highlighted by senior Mitch Fisher’s second-place finish. “Mitch led most of the race and was nipped by a Monticello runner at the finish line,” Clark said.
Senior Kurt Hellmann was third, well ahead of the fourth place runner. Junior Steven Cotter placed fifth and sophomore Chris Meados gave the Huskies four finishers inside the top seven spots. Senior Kyle Hellmann was 16th.