“He definitely helped me get into it,” he said. “I grew up around it and even before I was running I was thinking about running. It made the whole transition into running easier because I have family members who are really into it.”
Growing up in racing and learning first-hand from someone in your own house can only get you so far, though. Winning state races and setting course records is not something that comes without commitment, dedication and hard work.
“I think winning a race is the most rewarding feeling ever,” Nick said. “After all that hard work, when you win you’re like ‘Wow, that was really worth it.’ It’s that mind set of winning a race that drives you to running. Training sucks and it hurts but once you win that race it’s all worth it.”
As a junior in high school who has already won an all-Massachusetts competition, what more can Nick possibly aim to achieve in his senior year?
“One of my goals is to make it out to Oregon for the national meet,” Nick said. “My goal this year is to qualify for it and compete in it. My goal for next year is to go to it and try to win the thing.”
Whether or not Nick makes it this year is dependent upon how he performs today in New York at the Nike Invitational. Only five or six runners will advance to Oregon, and Nick hopes that list includes him.
“He has a good shot at making it,” Tom said. “Once you’re in those big meets, anything can happen. But he has two feet and two legs and runs like all the other kids. Anything can happen.”
Tom also credits much of his son’s success to the philosophies employed by his cross country coach, Don Hennigar.