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For their accomplishments in both the classroom and in their respective athletic endeavors, Beverly High cross country star Heidi Eberhardt and Manchester Essex Regional football standout Lars Arntsen have been selected as the Moynihan Lumber Student-Athletes of the Month for October.
Heidi, a junior for the Panthers, is an outstanding student and ranks fifth in her class. Owner of a 4.65 grade point average, she lists math and chemistry as her favorite subjects.
“I dedicate a lot of time to my schoolwork and homework,” said the 16-year-old. “My parents always raised my (two older) siblings and I to do our best academically, and got us reading at an early age. They always encouraged us.”
A self-described “pretty motivated person”, Heidi lists ‘The Name of the Wind’ by Patrick Rothfuss as one of the books she has most enjoyed.
That self-motivation can also work when she’s running, said Heidi, but it also helps to have teammates to work with when training and during races.
“For most of the season, I was usually by myself (at the front of the pack) running,” said the Northeastern Conference’s cross country champion, who went undefeated this fall. “But at the end of the season, my teammates started to close the gap, and we realized we can work together and help push each other and collectively we can run our best race.”
Heidi set a new meet record at the Northeastern Conference Cross Country Championships in Gloucester in late October, breezing to victory in 18 minutes and 42 seconds. She and three of her teammates took four of the top five spots as the Panthers easily won the team title as well.
Beverly has now gone unbeaten in girls cross country each of the last seven seasons, and Heidi said that is better than any individual accolades she might garner.
“That’s something greater than myself that reflects on my team and my school,” said the Salem News all-star.
Winner of the Frank Kelly Invitational on a hot day (20:42), Heidi’s best time in a full 5K this fall was 19:38 at the State Coaches Meet. Her favorite race, however, came back in September against Danvers, when she bettered her 20:50 time of a year ago with a blistering 19:26.
“That was when it hit me, ‘Wow, I really can become the NEC champion this year,” she said.
Heidi also runs indoor (1,000) and outdoor track (800) for Beverly High, and would like to continue her athletic career in college.
Lars, a 17-year-old senior at Manchester Essex Regional, helped the Hornets’ football team reach the Division 7 North final this fall and a 7-2 overall record heading into the team’s annual Thanksgiving Day tussle with Georgetown High.
Back on the gridiron for the first time since he was in eighth grade (due to injuries), the 5-foot-11, 165-pound wingback and linebacker is currently second on the squad in rushing yards (397) and rushing touchdowns (6) while snaring a dozen passes for 170 yards and another score.
He said the best word to sum him up on the gridiron is ‘accountable’.
“In football, it takes one person’s mistake to hurt the team. My coach (Jeff Hutton) tells us that almost every day,” said Lars. “So each play I just try to do my job to the best of my ability.”
Described as “an incredibly driven student”, Lars has an outstanding 4.57 grade point average and has been on the Honor Roll each quarter of his high school career. He took ASR (Authentic Science Research) his junior year and is serving as the teacher’s assistant (TA) to Dr. Maria Burgess this year, and has worked with researchers at Boston University as part of ASR.
“Dr. Burgess is much more than a teacher; she’s always there for me and has helped me discover some of my passions in academics,” said Lars.
Lars, who is eyeing both the University of Michigan and the University of Washington Seattle and thinking of majoring in Biotech Engineering and Neuroscience, has also raised more than $10,000 for the Jimmy Fund Marathon in 2018 with his friends.
A point guard on the Hornets’ basketball team and a shortstop for the baseball squad, he is a captain of both teams. Baseball is his favorite sport, said Lars.
“Hard work shows in baseball, and being a smaller guy I can take advantage of the nuances of the sport to elevate my game,” he said. “All three programs are great here at MERHS, and I think they’re played an important role in cultivating the winning atmosphere much of our programs experience year in and year out.”
Major factors in both his academic and excellence success, said Lars, are properly balancing his time and surrounding himself with supportive friends and family who are “fun, smart, ambitious and interesting people who motivate me to be the best version of myself.”