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November athletes of the month: Cross country

Cross country can be an intense sport, full of endurance and perseverance. This year, Montoursville’s senior boy and girl cross country athletes of the month are Noah Hepler and Maizy Havens. Both were chosen by their coaches for their exceptional qualities and dedication to the sport through it all.

Senior Noah Hepler runs in a cross country race. He had just passed an opponent and improved his rank on the leaderboard.

Noah Hepler – Boys’ Cross Country

Q: What challenges did you overcome this season?

A: Re-adapting to racing longer distances – the last time I ran cross country was as a sophomore, and in between I had been focusing on lower mileage races during track and field.”

Q: Did you have any goals for this season?

A: Originally, I did not set any expectations for myself as I wanted a more laid-back season this year. As my times dropped more, I began attempting to run the fastest race I could post-injury before I stopped training competitively.”

Q: What has being in Cross Country taught you?

A: You only get as much out of it as you put in. If you want to do well, you need to train hard, both in-season and off-season. Achieving faster times than I ever thought I could has also enforced the aphorism, ‘You can do anything you put your mind to,’ and I am now more confident in taking on challenges, both physical and mental.”

Q: What is your favorite cross country memory?

A: “I enjoy the pasta dinners we have prior to races. They provide a nice time to relax a little and have fun with teammates (as well as eat good food).”

Q: Do you have a pre-race ritual?

A: “I’ll make sure to run a little, do warm-up stretches, and something new I’ve started this year- RPR (reflexive performance reset), to get in the zone/ready to race. I’ll also slip on a pair of spikes, adjust the spike length depending on the ground condition, and take off sweats.”

Maizy Havens – Girls’ Cross Country

Senior Maizy Havens (right) hugs her teammate, senior Alexa Tira (left). Havens made the most of her last season in Cross Country.

Q: What challenges did you overcome this season?

A: “I was stuck at a certain time without improving and I had to stop getting in my head about it so I was able to push myself to improve.” 

Q: Did you have any goals for this season?

A: “I just wanted to improve my time and make the best of my last year.” 

Q: What has being in cross country taught you?

A: “It has taught me how to be more positive and that I can do more than I think I can.” 

Q: What is your favorite cross country memory?

A: “Every time we walk a course beforehand and just mess around for fun.” 

Q: Do you have a pre-race ritual?

A:As a team, we pray together right before we run and usually get a fist bump from the coach.” 

The Arrowhead is not responsible for choosing the Athletes of the Month.

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