Girls Cross Country Captain Hailey Novis ’13 will lead her team with wisdom and supreme athleticism this fall as the girls look to improve on last year’s 8th place finish at Interschols. When Novis began running for the team her Lower year, she had no previous exposure to cross country but plenty of experience in competitive running. She started competing in triathlons when she was eight, so running has always been an integral part of her training. In the summer after her Junior year, Novis competed in the triathlon Junior Nationals and placed ninth. She joined the cross country team because her triathlon coach told her that she needed to get faster if she wanted to be more competitive. For Novis, though, cross country is about much more than just getting faster. “Cross country has had a huge impact on my life at Andover. I always loved running, so getting to do that with a bunch of other people is just fun. After a day of classes, it’s a nice time to just get away from academics and run with friends,” said Novis. Cross country takes persistence and commitment, and Novis and her team definitely have these key attributes. “My favorite part about the team is the dedication everyone shows. Everyone on the team wants to be there, so it makes practices a lot more fun,” said Novis. “It’s the kind of team where everyone is friends during and after practice. I think this will go a long way in helping us have an awesome season,” she added. The cross country team is comprised of a core group of returners as well as some new sets of legs which, according to Novis, are very fast. She has high hopes for the girls and the season ahead. Novis is currently recovering from a surgery this past summer to correct a case of Compartment Syndrome, a condition in which increased pressure in a muscle endangers the functionality of a limb, that she has had for two years. “I will hopefully be racing in all the races, but I am not sure how I will exactly be doing, so my focus is more on the team and making sure each runner has the best season possible,” she said. Confident in her team’s attitude and athleticism, Novis is going to be a driving force for the team. “Like I said before, the girls on the team are amazing, and I really think if we put our minds to it, we will have an awesome year,” she said.