Springer enjoying his return to the track

Westerly (RI) senior Andrew Springer, who has been tearing up the indoor circuit, wins the mile at Dartmouth

As rookie seasons go his was a bell-ringer. A fall complete with major invitational wins, course records and a trip to the Foot Locker finals are the kind of efforts that will send you home from the fete with the jumbo stuffed animal every time.

But all-in-all, despite the accolades and success, Andrew Springer, who gave up his senior soccer season to run cross country for the first time, all in preparation for his final season on the track, is happy to be back on the oval.

It is on the track where he first made his mark as a runner, and it is the track that he prefers. If you’ve had a chance to witness his results from the past several weeks, it’s not hard to figure out why.

Springer owns the fastest indoor performance for 3000 meters thus far, running a meet record 8:27.21 at the Brown Invitational. This just 24 hours after anchoring his team to what, at the time, was a US #1 ranking in the DMR. Rhode Island rivals Mark Feigen and Nick Ross helped East Greenwich better that time by two-seconds later in the meet out of the unseeded heat no less.

Brown marked the first of two consecutive weekend doubles for Springer, who seems to be benefiting immensely from the decision to forgo his final year of soccer to prep for track.

On Saturday at Dartmouth, a day after anchoring his teammates to a second-place finish with another sub-10:30 clocking in the distance medley, he won the mile in 4:16.73, defeating Omar Abdi, the owner of then nation’s fastest mile this season, in the process.

That’s a nice resume entry, something the folks at the Millrose Games are sure to take a gander at as they fill out the field for the prestigious high school mile, Jan. 30 at Madison Square Garden.

“I feel a lot stronger when I have been running,” said Springer, who ran the second fastest time ever at Goddard Park this fall en route to winning the Brown Cross Country invitational. “I’ve been able to hold a faster pace for a longer distance. [Cross country] was fun, but I still enjoy track and always will.”

So excited was Springer, that he took only a brief one week break after his 28th place finish at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships before returning to competition. Not surprisingly, he has been one of the sharpest distance runners in the country in the early going.

“The races feel a little a little shorter than they did last year when I was struggling at the end of a race,” Springer said. “Now I just feel strong the whole way through.”

Coming off a superb cross season and an impressive 3k at Brown, it seems like the one few questions that remains is which event the Rhode Islander, who won the state outdoor 1500 meter championship last spring, will focus on for the remainder of his prep track career.

“My favorite race is the mile,” Springer said. “I don’t know if I would say that I am a miler. I’m not really sure what I’m best at yet.”