Miami Sunset’s Nick Diaz is a returning senior coming off a monstrous junior year. He was the 4A Cross Country Finals champion and posted a personal best of 15:07.93. Diaz was 9th at the Nike Cross Nationals Southeast regional and advanced to Nike Nationals in Portland, Oregon where he was 79th. On the track, the Sunset standout went 4:16.11 to finish as the 4A runner-up in the 1,600 meters. Overcoming the setback of an injury during his track season, he looks to defend his cross country title, as well as lead his team to the podium. Diaz can be described as humble, dedicated, talented, and loving of his family, friends, and team. In order to get to know the relatively quiet Nick Diaz, we asked him in a few questions in our XC Spotlight.
How long have you been running and what got you involved?
I have been running for about ten years now. It all started in 4th grade when my P.E. teacher made me run two legs back to back for the relay race on field day. He believed and thought that I had a lot of talent for running.
Being a senior this year, what are your expectations and goals?
Being a senior this year I would want to defend my state title and go sub 14:50. I want to also qualify again to nationals. I still haven't decided if I'd go to Nike or Foot Locker Nationals.
How do you feel your summer training went and how do you feel on the verge of the first meet of the season?
Coming back from an injury from track, my summer training felt like a breath of fresh air. I was able to train to the best of my ability with no worry of my injury coming back. I am really excited to go out there and race already and show all the hard work I've put in this summer.
As a top tier runner in high school, how do you manage all your success considering you have been competing at a high level as only a teenager?
I have such a great group of people that I am able to enjoy my success with and I always know head.
How do you manage nerves and pre-race jitters?
I do get a little nervous before I'm about to race but I tend not to think about it and just run my race.
Do you have any advice for up and coming runners or other high school athletes?
My only advice to upcoming High school athletes and runners is to stay humble. No matter how great of a runner you are there is always someone out there better than you and as long as you think that I believe you could stay humble.
Who is your role model?
My role model is my grandpa. He always knows that family comes first, he gives great advice and he is one of the funniest people I have ever met. I hope when I'm his age I could be just half the man he is.
Out of all your memories of running, which one is your favorite?
My favorite memory of running is freshmen year pre-nationals for footlocker. I had ran the freshman race and I PR'd with a time of 16:27. It was a great way to end my first high school cross country season and is when I started believing in myself more as a runner.
Have you thought about college yet? And if so what are your plans?
College has always been on my mind since my freshman year. There will definitely be some plans for college.
What specific things do you do to ensure you can compete at a high level?
I make sure to work as hard as I could on the running field and in the weight room. I am very focused when it comes to running especially if there is an upcoming race. My coach always tells me it's the little things that are going to count in the end and that is taking care of my body if I'm sore by icing it or using the roller and eating the right food the night before a race or after an intense workout.
Up Close and Personal
What kind of music do you listen to?
I kind of like to listen to everything. I really like to listen to hip-hop/rap, old rock and roll, alternative and any music they have playing on the radio station every day.
What is your favorite food?
My favorite food is steak and I like it best when my mom makes it.
Outside of running, what do you enjoy doing?
Outside of running, I just like to hang out with my family or friends. I just want to enjoy the time with the people I love and have a great time with them.
How would you describe yourself?
I would describe myself as a person that is humble and likes to keep it low key. I also like to help everyone out and make everyone happy. When it comes to running I could be serious about it but with anything else I like to have fun and enjoy myself.
If you could meet any one person living or dead, who would it be?
I would love to meet Bill Bowerman. He was such an innovator and one of the best running coaches of all time. I believe the running world would not be the same without him.
What have you enjoyed most about high school?
I have enjoyed most all of the friends and people I have met over my high school years. Going off to college will be great and exciting but I'm probably going to miss being in high school just being a kid.
Once you graduate, how do you want people to remember you and view your high school career?
Once I graduate, I would want people to remember me and view my high school career as someone that was humble who persevered through a lot of obstacles and never gave up no matter what injury I was going through.