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Athlete of the week: Kent Nichols

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Athlete of the week: Kent Nichols

Junior Kent Nichols sprints to the finish line at the district meet.

Junior Kent Nichols sprints to the finish line at the district meet.

Junior Kent Nichols sprints to the finish line at the district meet.

Junior Kent Nichols sprints to the finish line at the district meet.

Cole Hanson, Sports Editor

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Cross country isn’t a short sport.

Kent Nichols would be the person who knows first hand how long six plus months of running will do for you in Cross Country. Over the three month summer break, XC is in full swing, starting at nine in the morning. A regular attender there was Nichols. Starting just a couple weeks after school ended, Nichols started training for XC.

In just about 84 days Nichols logged over 500 miles. That is about 6 miles a day (5.95). That may seem like a lot to some, and not many to others, but considering the majority of the team took Sundays off, or didn’t even run at all, makes this an outstanding achievement. “He put himself in position to be an outstanding runner at the state meet by the commitment that he made on June 4th. It’s hard for outsiders to see that sometimes… what most outsiders don’t realize is that race was just the tip of the iceberg,” commented Nick Sacco, coach of the XC team.

But then came Homecoming. Nichols was caught with alcohol.

Along with mandatory community service hours, Nichols suffered penalties on the XC team. He was suspended for two meets. What made this even more of a brutal punishment was the fact that about half the teams meets where canceled. He lost two valuable chances to race. On top of that, the varsity team suffered deeply, barely losing two meets that they would have won with Nichols.

However, this isn’t where the story ends. Nichols took the high road. He didn’t quit the team, nor did he blame others for his mistakes. He owned up to what he did and apologized to the team and coaches for being selfish.

Even though Nichols wasn’t allowed to race, he still practiced harder than before. Nichols came back on fire and was dedicated to proving what he had to offer and make up for where he had missed out.

The best part is since he was caught, Nichols hasn’t had anything to drink. “It sucked at first but after a few times of turning it down it was great to not have any”, said Nichols.  He is now fully focusing on keeping his body totally healthy and improving his running.

 

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Athlete of the week: Kent Nichols