For Captain Nikita Muromcew ’21, Andover Nordic serves as both a stress outlet and as a place for her to connect with other athletes who also love to ski. Originally from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Muromcew grew up on the slopes, downhill skiing recreationally and Nordic skiing competitively. Since returning to campus for the winter, Muromcew has been able to practice in-person with the other Senior members of the team.
According to teammate Remy de Saint Phalle ’23, Muromcew works to support every member on the team by creating strong team chemistry. “Nikita is such a great captain because she really cares so much about her team members and their success,” said De Saint Phalle.
How did you get started with Nordic and what is your background in the sport?
I started skiing in fourth grade and I grew up in a town where everyone did a winter sport, so I chose cross country skiing. I ski downhill recreationally and I was on the nordic team back home skiing competitively. I only applied to boarding schools that had a team, and I ended up going to Andover.
What do you love most about Nordic?
I love how meditative it is. Whenever I am skiing, I am never thinking about what I am stressed about. It is a really nice way to get outside especially during the winter on campus, especially during this term because I spend so much time in my dorm room and I cannot really spend time anywhere else. Getting outside for ski practice is really helpful for my mental health and overall mood.
What makes Nordic at Andover special?
I think the team bond is great. We do not get to ski that often so it takes the pressure off competing and it makes it way more about the team experience and getting to know everyone. I have found it a really nice way to relieve stress and get away from the hectic life on campus. It is just a really friendly, family-like team. Everyone is really humble and down-to-Earth.
How do you train Nordic at Andover?
We just have four Seniors on campus right now, so it is just the four of us. Today, we actually had a practice in the Sanctuary. Our coach, [Keith Robinson], groomed some tracks in there and we skied just over a mile loop a couple times and it is gorgeous. It is the first time since I have been on the team that we have been able to ski there and I was just really excited to do that.
What has been your favorite Nordic memory at Andover?
My Lower year, which was my second year on the team, we took a weekend trip to Waterville, and they have an awesome ski track with a ton of rolling hills. It was gorgeous and we skied for the entire day and then got pizza. I think it was the best slice of pizza I have ever eaten. It was also just a really nice way to get to know some new people on the team because we had a lot of new lowers. It was really wholesome and fun.
What are your goals as Captain?
This year, my goals are to have a really memorable, wholesome season because it is really the last time some of us will be on campus together on skis. I want to create some really wholesome memories that we will be able to think about and look back on and be grateful that we all came back to ski together.
What is your favorite team tradition?
Paper plate awards at the end of the season. They are always hilarious. Everyone gathers in the Makerspace and we just find superlatives for everyone for the last practice. We put away all of the gear and pass out these awards. It is just a really lovely way to wrap up the season. It shows how well everyone knows each other.
How are you trying to connect your team despite being off campus?
We have bi-weekly Zoom meetings to catch up. That is the main way. I have also been running the Instagram account, so I think that it has been nice to give some people updates of what we have been doing and show fun pictures. I also have been sending out an email every week and sometimes include a workout if people want some structure.