Initially an alpine ski racer, Nordic Co-Captain Hannah Justicz ’22 made the switch to Nordic just two years ago during her lower year. Despite her transition to the sport, Justicz leads the team through her tireless work ethic, passion for working out, and love for outdoor sports.
According to Head Coach Keith Robinson, Justicz’s most prominent attribute is her commendable effort. This quality provides an example to the rest of the team.
“She trains right. She knows how to put in the work. She knows how to go hard, and I think everybody sees that. She is just a really hard worker,” said Robinson.
According to Justicz, one her favorite Andover Nordic memories was team dinner during her first year on the team. She gives credit to the 2020 season captains for creating a team environment that motivated her to return.
“I think lower year I had a lot of fun going to team dinners because I really liked our captains Posie Millett [’20] and Eli Newell [’20]. I thought they were really awesome and had really great energy that they brought to the team, so I think it was really fun to have those team dinners, those bonding memories,” said Justicz.
Inspired by Millett and Newell, Justicz hopes to create a similar team environment that is supportive and inclusive. Especially with skiers of various experience levels, she ensures that everyone has a spot on the team.
“I think the team environment I really want to help nurture is a team where people are really excited to ski and to get better. Obviously it isn’t a sport at Andover where people have a lot of experience, so I think people wanting to stay on the team. If they try once, they come back the next year, are comfortable at every practice, and feel like they’re part of the team like anyone else,” said Justicz.
According to newcomer Sage Preston ’25, Justicz sets the tone for practices and warmups. Bringing positive energy to the team, he also ensures she is focused enough to lead drills and connect with each member of the team.
“Hannah is a super enthusiastic and supportive captain. She often leads warmups and drills and kind of sets the pace for the rest of the team. She also gives great constructive criticism and hypes the team up and raises their spirits before races,” said Preston.
Rather than enforcing her habits on her teammates, Justicz hopes to inspire others to do the same. In addition, she believes that her captainship doesn’t end as soon as she steps off the snow.
“I think good energy brings good energy. And putting my own individual effort into every practice and working hard in practice can rub off onto other people slowly in that way. Also in other respects of campus, you kind of represent all of your communities throughout campus. So I think trying to be the best leader off the snow,” said Justicz.
According to Justicz, she believes the constant desire to improve is the foundation of the team. Justicz finds joy in watching others progress, especially those with less experience.
“I see it as fun to have a lot of different experience levels just because it’s really exciting to see people who haven’t necessarily Nordic skied before get a really good hang of it initially or some people later on in the season. Everyone develops at different speeds. Sometimes people have a greater learning curve at different points, so I think that’s really fun to see. I feel like it’s more the strength of our team than a challenge,” said Justicz.