Support for each other has Braves’ siblings excelling

BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer

Staff Writer

The first person to greet Kristin Andrews after her victory in the 400 intermediate hurdles at the Monmouth County Championships was younger brother Rob Andrews,

“My brother and I are really close,” said Andrews. “He’s just awesome. He really supports me.”

Rob, a freshman, said that his older sister, who is a junior at Manalapan, has been a role model for him.

“We help each other out, she’s my inspiration,” he pointed out.

This season has been a breakout year for the Andrews siblings. Kristin had been established as a top 400 runner, already having qualified for the Meet of Champions, and has added the 400 hurdles to her repertoire. This spring, however, she has taken the next step and is winning championships. She thinks she has found her niche in the intermediates, which allows her to combine her 400 sprinter’s speed with her long-distance endurance.

She used her endurance to run down her rival, Jamie Leacock, at the county championships Saturday at Neptune High School. She trailed early, but eventually reeled Leacock in, and by the time she cleared the 10th and final hurdle, there was no one else in the picture.

“I love this,” she said of the 400 hurdles. “It’s different; I like it because it’s not just running.

“My coach [Kerwin Lanz] put me in the hurdles one day for a dual meet, and I liked it,” she added. “It’s so different.”

Andrews tied the Freehold Regional District record for the 400 hurdles with her 1:05.04 automatic time. The record of 1:05.0 was hand held and is held by Freehold Borough’s Rona Henderson.

Andrew’s goal is to get her time down to 1:03.6, which would qualify her for the national championships next month.

Meanwhile, Kristin’s younger brother is starting to open his eyes. He had an outstanding county meet, lowering his 1,600 personal best by 11 seconds down to 4:28.88. In the 800, he broke 2:00 for the first time and earned his first championship medal, placing fifth in 1:58.81. Both are superb marks for a freshman.

“I have a good team and good coaches who support me,” said Andrews, who isn’t sure yet which is his best event. He still wants to run a quality 3,200 before the season is over.

To put what Andrews accomplished last week in Neptune in perspective, his times for the 800 and 1,600 are second only to what Colts Neck’s Craig Forys did as a frosh, in District history.

Andrews doesn’t want to hear any comparisons to Forys, but it is not too early to see him restoring the rich distance running tradition that was once Manalapan’s. It is after all the school that produced the likes of Tom Fischer, Jim Casey and Tim Anderson.

The Andrewses come by their running naturally. Mother and father, Mary and Bob Andrews were both runners themselves. Bob, a 1:49 800-meter runner at the University of Pennsylvania, still competes in Masters competitions for the Shore Athletic Club.

Whatever success Kristin and Rob enjoy, they know one thing – they have each other in their corner all the way.