Andover Nordic Co-Captain Eli Newell ’20 began skiing in sixth grade and has been an integral part of the team ever since joining as a Junior.
According to Victor Tong ’22 and Head Coach Keith Robinson, Newell is a charismatic presence both in and out of practice, and his teammates can always go to him for advice.
Tong said, “He leads by example because he has the most experience. We have a lot of [Juniors] on the team this year so he is a guy who others look up to. But off the slopes, he’s a really charismatic guy and he’s really involved in aspects of school life other than skiing. He’s really involved in climate cafés and climate curriculum so he helps talk and lead the discourse after practice by encouraging us to go to climate café or to talk about other stuff that’s not just skiing.”
Robinson said, “I think in the locker room, he’s really good about knowing everyone on the team. He knows a ton about skiing and he’s willing to spend the time to share that with anyone that wants advice or needs help waxing their skis.”
While one of Newell’s most notable attributes as a captain is how he helps his teammates, both Robinson and Co-Captain Posie Millett ’20 recognize his lighthearted attitude as an additional way in which he leads the team.
Millett said, “Eli is a really good captain in that he’s a really friendly and positive presence on the team. I find that he is always so enthusiastic and I think that makes him an incredible motivator. He’s always really incredibly passionate and kind of leads by example that way.”
Robinson added, “I think one of the other things [about Eli] is getting to know everyone on the team, and his sense of humor and willingness to make everybody laugh and have a good time at practice as well…[He] definitely [knows] when to work hard and… when to relax and have fun.”
Even though Nordic is not as team-based as other sports, Newell still focuses on developing a strong team mentality and a sense of closeness amongst the skiers.
Newell said, “One of the most important qualities for me is realizing that this truly is a team sport. Even though in most of our races, we’re scored individually and then our scores are compiled into a composite team score, cultivating a sense of teamwork and camaraderie is of utmost importance.”
According to Newell, experiencing what made previous Nordic captains special has helped him improve as a teammate and as a mentor to the other skiers.
“Being on the team for my whole time here has helped me think about my role as a captain. Partially, just from being on the team for that time but also being able to ski and be on a team with some great captains who I continue to look up to as role models, like Aditya Krishnamachar [’17], Spencer Davis [’18] and last year, Neil Thorley [’19] was my Co-Captain. So just from being on the team throughout my time here, I’ve had some really great role-models to look up to,” said Newell.
Robinson admires Newell’s work ethic and believes that it helps him stand out on the slopes.
Robinson said, “I think in terms of racing but even more so practicing, when he’s out on the field and out skiing he gives it his all and does what he’s supposed to do to improve. He won’t take shortcuts, he works hard to get where he is.”